20 4 / 2014

I started Falling Dreams of Fan Hua yesterday and it had me chortling all throughout my run. It’s a funny little xianxia novel that reminds me of my all time favorite book, Heavy Sweetness Ash-like Frost.

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Introduction:

I have an adoptive father….

Um, this is not the important part. I only meant to say, why does he no know that there is a difference of genders in this world? When given a pornographic picture, he insists of saying it is a picture depicting acupuncture points. And… why did he raise me as a boy for fifteen years?! Is writing prescriptions that great? I studied poison.

But, why is he a Fan Hua Beast[1]….

繁花落尽,香馨碾散,落地为土,润于草木,皆为芳。

When the blooming flowers have fallen, the fragrance scattered, landing on the ground amongst the earth, moistening the woods and grass, all turns into Fang.

觥筹交错,语音弥散,孤单影之,烟波浩渺,谓曰华。

At the lively banquet, the sounds of chatter disperse, leaving a lonely shadow, and an expanse of misty waters, called Hua.

本是有心,却似无心,若是动心,即为失心,怜为兽。

Originally, he had good intentions, but then inadvertently, he was moved and lost his heart, that is Shou [2].

——人鱼水洋

Salamander of the Vast Oceans

The main character is a young girl-child, who is abandoned by her mother in a old temple. When she is seven, the old beggar that had been raising her passed and she was bullied by the other beggars in the temple. At this moment, a beautiful man, Fan Hua, protects her and takes her away with him. He names her Shao’er and so far, the novel chronicles hilarious, little incidences with him. I don’t want to spoil too much because I may choose this as a translation project in the future. Without further ado, I bring you an excerpt from the Chapter 4 of Book 1.

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Scene Translation: I am a Girl!

This yifu [3], even though he looks like a deity, once you spend more time with him, you will realize that besides those three things, he cannot take care of himself at all. And it seemed like he had lived in isolation since long ago. Until one day, I was given another new robe… this one was even bigger than the ones I was given before. The sleeves were so long that they just about dragged on the ground… I simply could not endure anymore.

Yifu, this robe is too big.”

“I also told the store owner this, but he said that kids grow fast and can wear it in the future.”

He doesn’t have to buy a robe designed for five years in the future… I weep…

Yifu, can you buy a different design next time?”

He glanced at me, eyebrows raised.

I stuck out my small, undeveloped chest and watched him closely as I said: “I am a girl…”

He looked as if he understood but still did not comprehend: “And?”

Cannot even communicate with this guy…

I had thought that he only pretended not to understand… then I realized that he completely did not know what women were.

This was determined three days later.

I was holding back the entire time and ran into the forest. With my head lowered, I untied my belt and quickly squatted. After watering the little flowers and grass, I stood up, feeling very relieved, but immediately ran into Fan Hua. His eyes suddenly opened very widely.

“Do you have some sort of secret disease?”

“Huh?”

“Why were you squatting? Won’t you pee on your clothes?”

Yifu, I will soak through my clothes when I stand up.”

“How can this be… Let me take a look for you.”

After he said this, he actually was about to lift my robes.

I quickly reacted, sensing that something did not bode well. I did not say anything else and turned around to flee.

In the end… I forgot one very important thing.

He has neigong[4].

I felt a tinge in my shoulder, a small pebble pelted me and then fell to the ground. Suddenly, my entire body became stiff and I couldn’t move…

I felt a pair of hands on my waist belt, pulling down my pants…

Oh how my heart wept.

He actually reached out to examine me briefly, his fingers nimble. Finally, after his evaluation was complete, he smoothly tapped my shoulder, releasing my acupuncture point. I quickly jumped away.

He inched over, his eyes flooding with sympathy: “When did you castrate yourself?”

I was aggrieved.

He saw that I wasn’t answering, and he understandingly nodded his head. He clasped his hands and walked away, murmuring to himself: “So this is the eunuch the books speak of… Indeed, they are different for ordinary people. They are missing that thing.”

I was stupefied, so angry that I was trembling from head to toe.

Darn it, how can he insult me like this?

I am a girl!!!!!!

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[1] I think the author made up this Fan Hua Beast. You can read the Google-translated Baidu article on this creature to get a gist of what it is.

[2] The last word in each of the three lines makes up Fan Hua Beast. I’m not very good at translating poetry, but I think the idea of this poem is the Fan Hua Beast is a creature of nature and tends to be reclusive. The last line is foreshadowing what will happen in the book.

[3] 义父, adoptive father

[4] 内功, internal energy.

13 4 / 2014

I’ve been receiving a lot of requests for more scene translations from Eastern Palace. I’ve started on another scene, though this one is long (over a chapter) and occurs right after A Jealous Li Cheng Yin

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On a similar note, I’m happy to announce that Eastern Palace is being made into a drama and is expected to start filming later this year. The director, 高翊浚, has an impressive collection of works underneath his belt, including Da Han Tian Zi 1 (Huang Xiao Ming, Chen Dao Ming, and Alyssa Chia) and Inner Palace: Legend of Zhen Huan (Sun Li, Chen Jia Bin, Jiang Xin). I’m a big fan of Legend of Zhen Huan, despite the miscasting of Chen Jia Bin as the emperor, so I’m excited to see him direct EP. The actors/actresses have yet to be decided. Personally, I’d like to see Yuan Hong and the fresh-faced Guo Xiao Ting paired up again as Li Cheng Yin and Xiao Feng.

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Scene Translation: A Most Grievous Offense

I did not sleep for half the night, so I overslept the next morning. Yong Niang woke me up and hurriedly readied me to enter the palace. The Grand Empress Dowager had become healthier with each passing day. When she saw me, she was very happy and bestowed a bowl of the congee she was eating to me.

I do not know what they put in that bowl of congee, but the flavor was very strange. I ate a few mouthfuls but could not bear it anymore as I felt my stomach churning.

Yong Niang saw that my complexion was not good so she quickly walked towards me and offered me a cup of tea. My stomach was hurting so much that I could die, I could not even drink the tea. I quietly told Yong Niang: “I want to throw up.”

The Grand Empress Dowager was over seventy years old, but her hearing was still extremely good. She immediately said: “Eh? You want to throw up?”

Without her orders, an army of palace maid immediately approached, some holding bowls used for rinsing, some holding fresh water, some holding towels, while others came to rub my back and bring incense. The incense that the Grand Empress Dowager uses is ambergris, and I’ve always thought the scent was very strange, especially since now, the incense sent was so close to me. When the smoke rushed into my nose, I could not hold it anymore, but when I tried to throw up, nothing came out except some clear water. Yong Niang offered me some hualu to rinse my mouth with. With this scene, the Grand Empress Dowager became worried: “Hurry and call the Imperial Physician!”

“No need….” It must be that I caught a cold last night. After Li Cheng Yin left, I could not sleep for most of the night. I was just sitting there and even forgot to cover myself with a blanket. This morning, I had a slight stomachache, and now I really wasn’t feeling well. I said: “Perhaps I ate something bad…”

“Call the Imperial Physician to take a look.” The Grand Empress Dowager beamed with joy, “You are most likely expecting, no need to be bashful! Blossoming and bearing fruit is natural. What is there to be embarrassed about? Aiya, also send for the Imperial Astrologer. What should we name this child…?

… I… I almost spurted out blood… I did not think that the Grand Empress Dowager would be this eager, believing that I am expecting a baby. The problem is that I’ve never done the deed of having a baby… After the Imperial Physician examined me, his conclusion was that my stomach had been chilled and I ate venison congee, which didn’t agree with my stomach. The Grand Empress Dowager was very disappointed and asked right and left: “Where is the Crown Prince?”

“It is almost the New Years Celebration. Today, His Highness is in Zhai Palace [2]…”

The Grand Empress Dowager immediately slammed her hand against the table irritably: “Why is he at the Zhai Palace [2]?! There are three offenses against filial piety and not having descendants is the most grievous! When his Imperial Father was his age, he already had three sons! He is already twenty, and is not yet a father! That Zhao Liang Di is always by his side, but cannot even lay an egg! And that Xu Bao Lin… A healthy baby, lost just like that! If this continues, when will I be able to hold my great-grandson? Does he want me to pass away and still not be able to shut my eyes?”

When the Grand Empress Dowager got angry, everyone in the hall knelt down, fearful and trembling, they all said: “Grand Empress Dowager, please calm your anger!”

The more they said this, the angrier the Grand Empress Dowager became: “Servants! Send for Li Cheng Yin! I don’t believe this curse, I don’t believe that I won’t be able to hold my great-grandson by next year!”

The Grand Empress Dowager was like me, calling Li Cheng Yin by his full name. But the Grand Empress Dowager scolded him and he would think it was because I said something. He might even quarrel with me again. Let him quarrel! Anyways, I’m not afraid of him. I didn’t think that the Grand Empress Dowager would be that cruel and merciless. She called Li Cheng Yin over but did not scold him. Instead, she asked him with a benign countenance: “Did you bathe and burn incense?” Taking a bath and burning incense was in preparation of entering Zhai Palace [2]. Li Cheng Yin did not know what had happened so he replied with only a “Yes.”

“That is good.” The Grand Empress Dowager said: “Luckily for you, you don’t need to purify the mind and reduce desires by fasting these few days. Anyways, our ancestors do not care about that. Servants, escort His Highness and the Crown Princess to Qing Yun Palace. Do not open the doors without my orders!”

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[1] 花露, medicinal drink distilled from flowers

[2] Chinese: 斋宫, palace where the Emperor fasted

04 4 / 2014

Dear Readers,

Decembi will be taking back full control over the translation of Once Promised. I update rather slowly and we couldn’t find a good way to fairly share the translation efforts. It simply doesn’t make sense to continue translating the same passages, which I’ve just now realized that we’ve been doing.

I’m still reading c-novels so if I see one that I like, I will start translating again. Thanks for your continued support. :)

xia0yuer

19 3 / 2014

I’m posting up what I have of Ch. 6, which isn’t very much… maybe 1/5th of the whole chapter? I will continue to update this post because I don’t want to have several posts for the same chapter in my directory tab.

EDIT: Brief but exciting update today! I don’t want to spoil so go read! Also, I’m sorry for the slow updates (decembi is probably tapping her foot with impatience because she already has the scene translation and summary of Ch. 7 ready). It would help if you guys commented, so I can gauge the popularity of this project. :D

I find this passage very touching. A’Heng and Yun Sang still treat each other like  (best friends) despite being apart for 60 years and going through major life changes. As for Yun Sang’s story, I admire her strength but also pity her loneliness.

For those who don’t know the back story, Nuo Nai went to deliver a gift from Shao Hao to the princess of Xuan Yuan (A’Heng) but mistakenly gave the gift to the princess of Shen Nong (Yun Sang). They conversed about Ao Tu Inn and Yun Sang found out that Nuo Nai was actually the architect of the cleverly built place. However, because Nuo Nai thought Yun Sang as Shao Hao’s betrothed, he could not act upon the simmering attraction between them. At the end of Ch. 4, before Chi You gave A’Heng the Beauty Preserving Flower he won, he saw her talking to Nuo Nai in the forest. A’Heng was testing Nuo Nai on the strength of his character. Yun Sang had told A’Heng if he accepted the scroll she sent while believing that she was his liege’s betrothed, he was not to be trusted. However, if he did indeed refuse the scroll, A’Heng should force it upon him even more. Twisted logic, much?

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The gorgeous Ady An as Yun Sang, She’s glowing and elegant, even in troubled times, like the Yun Sang I imagined while reading this chapter.

Chapter 6: Unfulfilled Intentions Beneath the Tree, All Those Years Ago [Incomplete]

Another year’s Peach Banquet. At this Peach Banquet, Prince Cang Lin came from the Xuan Yuan Tribe, Princess Yun Sang came from the Shen Nong Tribe, and Prince Yan Long came from the Gao Xin Tribe.

After Yun Sang arrived on the mountain, following the Yan Emperor’s orders, she let Chi You handle all the governmental affairs. She was extremely idle so she casually strolled about, but she still unintentionally walked to the Ao Tu Inn.  She saw Xuan Yuan Ba sitting by the edge of the pond, absent-mindedly staring at the sky.

Yun Sang was very surprised and walked closer to say hi, but she surprised Xuan Yuan Ba so much that she almost leapt up.

“Why are on Mt. Yu? I did not hear that you were coming!”

“It’s a long story. I have not left the mountain at all since the Peach Banquet sixty years ago. I have been locked up here by Wang Mu.”

Yun Sang was dumbfounded, but quickly regained her composure: “You, you were the thief whom Wang Mu captured?”

Xuan Yuan Ba pursed her lips and nodded. Yun Sang sat down next to Xuan Yuan Ba: “I don’t believe that you would covet those powerful weapons on Mt. Yu. What actually happened? Is there some kind of misunderstanding?”

Xuan Yuan Ba shrugged her shoulders, and feigning indifference, she said: “Anyways, Mt. Yu is full of lingqi [1]. How many deities beg to enter Mt. Yu? But I got 120 years for no reason. I consider just consider it an opportunity to self-cultivate.”

Yun Sang is clever and obviously knew that she wanted to keep something hidden. She was now full of anxiety, but since Xuan Yuan Ba did not want to tell, she also did not have the heart to investigate more thoroughly. She watched the convex shapes of the water and rocks in front of her, and could not help but let out a long sigh: “I have some worries that I want to talk to you about.” After she said this, she continued her to be silent.

Xuan Yuan Ba knew that she would speak her mind if she wanted to, and otherwise, she wouldn’t open up even if asked, so she did not utter a sound, but continued to sit there silently.

A while later, Yun Sang finally spoke: “After the last time I met Nuo Nai by chance, we have been secretly contacting each other since then.”

Xuan Yuan Ba said with a smile: “I already expected that.”

“Second sister Yao Ji has been sickly since the day she was born and has been bedridden for so many years. All of Father’s love and concern were given to her, so the only thing I could do is to grow quickly. Not only did I have to take care of Yu Wang, who lost his mother so soon after he was born, but I also had to comfort Father. Sometimes when he saw Yao Ji tormented by her illness and in so much agony, Royal Father was also in pain. In the recesses of my heart, I sometimes secretly thought that it would… it would be better for her and for us if she passed already.”

Xuan Yuan Ba held Yun Sang’s hand silently. Mother pitied Yun Sang very much, and lamented that this girl had never acted like a boisterously before, as if she was born to the eldest sister of her brother and sisters.

“Thirty years ago, Yao Ji really, she really did… pass away. Royal Father was seriously ill and could not rise from his bed, as if he wanted to follow Yao Ji to find mother together. I did not weep even one drop and was at Royal Father’s bedside night and day, taking care of him. When Royal Father’s condition improved slightly, I gradually realized that I could not bear losing Yao Ji. She seemed so frail but whenever I needed someone the most, she was always there for me.” Yun Sang gazed at Xuan Yuan Ba: “You were also born into royalty, so you obviously know about the fierce, bloodless fighting that occurs within royalty. Yu Wang has a soft personality and in many things I must be unyielding. Sometimes, I am very tired. I don’t even have a friend to talk to and can only sit there absentmindedly. Yao Ji would crouch next to me, untie my hair, and comb my hair gently. The herbal scent off of her body would waft by and bring a good deal of comfort. On the summer nights, I would read official documents and she would sit by my side, wrapped in a blanket, and slowly embroidering a sachet. During the winter, she could not withstand the cold, yet she longed for the snow. She always hid herself in her room and opened the windows a sliver, watching Yu Wang and me playing in the snow. We brought a snowball to her and she acted like she had just obtained the greatest treasure in the world, extremely delighted…”

Yun Sang’s hand was ice cold, trembling slightly. Xuan Yuan Ba grasped her hand tightly, wanting to give her a bit of warmth and strength: “I cannot smell her herbal scent within the anymore. I feel like my entire heart was torn out, but I cannot reveal a hint of sorrow because Father’s illness has just improved a bit. I cannot hurt him again. One stormy night, and I was awoken by the sound of thunder. Yao Ji will never again be holding her pillow, standing outside the curtain, and quietly asking me: “Jie Jie [2], I’m scared. Can I sleep with you tonight?”

I always thought that I was the one who kept her company, comforted her. But now, without her herbal scent, I suddenly find the thunder so frightening. Now I understand that during those scary nights, not only was I keeping Yao Ji company, but Yao Ji was also keeping me company. In the midst of the thunderstorm, I rushed down Mt. Shen Nong, and found Nuo Nai, who was guarding the border of Gao Xin. When I rushed into his tent, he must have been terrified. During those days, I was skin and bones, my complexion was a waxy yellow. At that time, I was in a hurry to leave the mountain, so my clothes were a mess, my hair completely undone, my entire body was drenched, and I had even forgotten to wear shoes.”

Yun Sang glanced at Xuan Yuan Ba, her cheeks turned red, but then, she paled: “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. When I saw him, I actually just hugged him. At that moment, I suddenly felt like I had finally found someone I could rely on, someone I could unload all my burdens to. I wept loudly in his embrace. That was the first time I had lost my composure since I was little. Afterwards, he continued to hold me and I continued cry, as if I was letting out all those tears I’ve kept pent up since Mother passed away. I wept until I lost consciousness.”

Yun Sang’s cheeks pinkened and she quietly said: “When I awoke, he was no longer in the tent. I could not face him, so I immediately slipped away and returned to Mt. Shen Nong. It has been a long time and we haven’t contacted each other since then. Afterwards, we never mentioned what had happened that night and acted as if it hadn’t happened. He treats me very coldly, but, but…” Yun Sang stammered, but in the end she was too embarrassed to say “But we both know what had happened between us.”

Shen Nong and Gao Xin are old god clans, with numerous and tedious rules of etiquette. Conservatism was the prevailing social custom. In Xuan Yuan, the custom was unrestrained, and more lenient towards the matters between men and women. Thus, Xuan Yuan Ba and Yun Sang had different opinions toward this matter. Xuan Yuan Ba felt that love was inevitable, so let it happen as it should, but Yun Sang felt ashamed and remorseful, unable to feel at peace.

Xuan Yuan Ba hid a smile and asked: “Jie Jie [2], have you told Nuo Nai your identity?”

Yun Sang’s face showed her worry: “Not yet. At first, I half wanted to let it be, but the other half was hyper-vigilant, wanting to test his moral character. Later, I don’t know since when, but I became more and more afraid to tell him the truth, worried that he, in anger, would never talk to me again. I thought I could tell him when we got to know each other a bit better, and perhaps he’d be more understanding. But when we really got to know each other, I was still afraid. Every time I wanted to tell him, every time it was at the tip of my tongue, but I just couldn’t say it out loud. Then, that embarrassing incident happened and he became more distanced and cold. It became even more difficult for me to tell, so one day dragged on to another, until today. Do you have any good ideas?”

“No matter what your name is, you are still you. Just tell him the truth.”

“Trust is very difficult to obtain, but so easy to destroy. The importance isn’t in whether you deceived him in something big or small, but the fact that you deceived him at all indicates a lot of things. Put myself in his shoes, if Nuo Nai dared to deceive me like this, I would definitely doubt everything else he says. Nuo Nai looks unassuming and gentle, but he holds military power, has such a high position, and is deeply esteemed by Shao Hao at such a young age. Nuo Nai must be very shrewd and it must be difficult to obtain his trust. But I, but I… deceived him.” Yun Sang looked dejected and remorseful.

Xuan Yuan Ba was dumbfounded, is it really this complicated? After a while, she sighed loudly, unfathomably agitated.

The Peach Banquet was as lively as the previous years, all the guests gathering at the banks of Yao Chi [3]. The banquet scene was lively, with joyous conversation and laughter.

Chi You sat for a while, but then he left the banquet to search for Xi Ling Heng. He quickly walked through thousands of different corridors, hundreds of balconies, one after another, and another after that. Gradually, as he approached her, his slowed his steps.

He found the courtyard where she was living, but the front courtyard was deserted. The gentle breeze was silent, only the wind chimes made from beast fangs were jingling, just like an old folk song.

Chi You listened, stunned. Back when he made the wind chimes, they had been as white as jade. But after almost sixty years of being exposed to the elements, they had already turned golden brown. He walked around the rooms and entered the peach grove behind the hill.

Underneath the moonlight, the luxuriant grass and the thousands of peach blossoms, all were flourishing. From far away, the light shimmered brilliantly, but upon closer scrutiny, each the beams of light were scattered throughout. A foot-tall carnelian bird paused on the treetop and a big, black fox crouched in the grass. A green-robed girl, covered in flower petals, rested on the fox’s back, as if she was sleeping.

A’Bi suddenly raised her head, watchfully staring forward. A large and strong red-robed man appeared within the peach grove. Lie Yang opened his eyes to glance at him, but then he lazily closed his eyes again.  A’Bi and Lie Yang have constantly been together for several decades and had a unique way of communicating with each other. A’Bi was tired of being on guard, so she reluctantly lowered her head onto the grass. Her paws covered her eyes as if to say: “You can pretend that I’m not here.”

Chi You lightly walked closer to Xi Ling Heng.

Xi Ling Heng was actually awake this whole time, and she had noticed Chi You since he had arrived. She was pretending to be asleep, but she did not think that the impatient-looking Chi You was actually very patient, and had been silently waiting for her.

Xi Ling Heng could not pretend anymore. She half-rose and asked: “Why did you not wake me? If I had slept this whole night, would you have waited a whole night?”

Chi You happily said: “I can even wait a whole lifetime. You are the wife I have settle on.”

Xi Ling Heng raised her fist to hit him: “I warn you, I am not your wife. Don’t go spouting such nonsense.”

Chi You held onto her hand, gazing at her. He smiled faintly and said: “If you don’t want to be my good wife, then whose wife do you want to be? You are the female beast that I, the lord of hundreds of beasts, have chosen. If there is really some guy who has the gall to snatch you from me, then we will duel on even terms.”

Chi You is not an excessively handsome man, but his eyes were as beautiful and craft as a wild beast’s – cold and powerful, and added strange and unforgettable kind of charm.

Xi Ling Heng did not know why but she was no longer indifferent to her jokingly abusive relationship with Chi You as she was before. She actually felt a little fearful. She shook off Chi You’s hand: “We are not wild beasts, what are we dueling for?”

Chi You began to laugh loudly: “Male beasts will only fight to mate with healthy and beautiful female beasts, but you…” He glanced at Xi Ling Heng, clicking his tongue and shaking his head, as if saying that no male beast would find her attractive and want to mate with her.

 Xi Ling Heng was so embarrassed that her whole face turned red and she finally understood why people called him a beastly person. When Chi You spoke, he was always too forward and blunt. She covered her ears and said: “Chi You, if you continue to speak such nonsense, I won’t listen to you any more.”

Chi You gazed at the adorably bashful and angry Xi Ling Heng, but only felt his heart surge and the first male instinct, desire, begin to quicken. He suddenly inched over, and quickly kissed Xi Ling Heng.

Xi Ling Heng stiffened and stared at Chi You, dumbfounded.

Chi You seemed coldly experiences, but this was the first time he had kissed a girl, a girl whom he hide in the deepest recesses of his heart. In life and death situations, his heart was always as calm as water, but now, his heart was pounding crazily and his eyes were full of tenderness. Craving for even a second of sweetness, he could not help but lower his head to kiss Xi Ling Heng, seeking clumsily and demanding.

Xi Ling Heng finally was reacted and bit down, hard. Chi You yelped and stepped back, staring at Xi Ling Heng. He both angry and puzzled, just like a fuming little beast.

Xi Ling Heng coldly berated him: “You enjoyed the taste? The next time you dare to, to… do this, I will… definitely not let you off!”

Chi You cocked an eyebrow and smirked, once again becoming the callous King of Beasts. He touched the blood on his lips with his fingers, his tongue licking lightly. While staring at and recalling the taste of Xi Ling Heng’s lips, he purposefully twisted the meaning of her words and said: “The taste was very good!”

Xi Ling Heng clenched her teeth in anger. She wanted to scold him, but she could not out scold him, so she rose and ran into the forest, forcefully saying: “I never want to see you, frivolous and shameless scoundrel, ever again! No more letters between us!”

“I could not wish for anything more! I had tired of writing letters to you a long time ago!”

Xi Ling Heng did not turn back, but her eyes suddenly reddened, and she did not even know what she was feeling badly about.

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[1] 灵气, spiritual power

[2] 姐姐, older sister

[3] 瑶池, Yao Chi is the dwelling place of Queen Mother of the West in Kunlun Mountains

18 3 / 2014

17 3 / 2014

Here are Chapters 1 through 4 of Once Promised. Note: I did not translate/summarize these chapters. This is all Decembi’s work and hosted here with her permission.
The first few chapters start out slow, as there are a slew of characters that need to be introduced. However, these chapters are key in setting up Chi You and A’Heng’s romance and the political setting that the three god tribes are in. 
Also, I wanted to gauge the opinion of my readers.
Readers, would you like to see shorter but quicker updates, or would you rather read the full chapter at once, with more time in between updates?
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Sorry Wallace, dear. You are going to have to step aside for this one because Yuan Hong is my perfect Chi You. Can’t you just image Chi You gazing at A’Heng like this? *swoon*

Chapter 1: I was Originally A Wild Man

The chapter starts in Shen Nong country, as it is in the centre, it is one of the richest, with the most people and the greatest amount of exports. At the southwest of Sheng Nong, that’s where it is the wildest, with ferocious beasts and poisonous atmospheres. This is where the Jiu Yi tribe lives - it is a very remote uncultivated tribe and they are treated as the lowest ranked citizens. The males are born to be slaves, the females are born to be maids.*

A hundred years before, the Jiu Yi tribe was unhappy with this cruel slavery and so started to band together and rebel. Because of one strong malicious beast that helped the Jiu Yi tribe, they were able to deal with tens of great soldiers from the God Tribe and this caused the Yan Emperor to be disturbed. The Yan Emperor called the best warrior in the Sheng Nong Tribe, Zhu Rong (the Fire God) to personally deal with this beast.

So, Chi You is not named by Tong Hua throughout this chapter, but it is clear that the strong malicious beast that helps the Jiu YI tribe is Chi You. Zhu Rong comes to Jiu Yi Tribe and formulates a cruel plan to get Chi You to come out of the forest - he will kill 10 villagers every hour until Chi You turns up. One of his subordinates mention that gods are not supposed to kill humans, but Zhu Rong says who will know if they don’t tell? 

Before Zhu Rong arrives, there is a lovely interlude, where the tribe witch tells Chi You not to come out and to escape as Zhu Rong is coming. The tribe witch thanks Chi You for helping them, but they rather be slaves than have the Beast King be killed. Apparently, they had already sent 100 males and 100 females to the Yan Emperor as a promise of obedience and he has decided to forgive them and the Beast King. 

So, two hours pass and Chi You does not appear. Twenty people have been be-headed. At the third hour, Zhu Rong and his subordinates have relaxed and grown complacent, thinking Chi You is a coward. But it is at that time, Chi You cast a magic that caused one part of the ground to capsize into a hole - Zhu Rong hastily and angrily directs his flame at it. Zhu Rong mistakenly kills one of his subordinates instead and Chi You takes the chance to escape. The villagers point out to Zhu Rong that he cannot behead any more of them because Chi You did appear. Zhu Rong keeps his word, and even more infuriated, chases after Chi You with his soldiers. 

Chi You manages to avoid capture for a long part of the chase in the forest with several beasts coming to his help, but ultimately, Zhu Rong is too strong. Zhu Rong catches hold of Chi You but Chi You cleverly tries to knock Zhu Rong’s vulnerable part (the part under his erm stomach), which is the only part not covered in fire. So, Zhu Rong lets go of him, and Chi You manages to escape again.

However, after being on the run for 7 days without eating or sleeping, Chi You knows that he will ultimately be captured - his leg is injured and his hand is burned. He is the Beast King, he knows what happens when a beast is captured by the hunter. He does not want to be skinned and become a display piece in someone’s pedestal. He was at the peak of a cliff - he thought he would rather fall down and die. Then, a sweet smell wafts into his nose - he starts to follow the smell towards a mountain stream. It is in the thick of spring where the peach blossoms are all flowering by the side of the mountain stream - a girl in a green robe is laughing. She strips and jumps into the mountains stream. Chi You feels something warm and uncontrollable course through his heart - like the blossoming of a first flower. 

Translation: 

In the midst of loneliness and confusion, he always felt that there was something, somewhere in the horizon, that once he capture he will understand, understand why they were happy, understand what he was, understand what spring meant, understand why he was alone, but no matter how hard he tried to catch, he could not catch it.

Now, he understood. At this rich, verdant and vibrant spring day, he was like the countless beasts in the forest mountain, once they saw a female beast, they suddenly understood. 

This girl in the mountain spring, caused the piece that was sleeping deep in his soul to awake.

He wanted to carry her to the nest on the top of his tree, bring her to his cave in the mountain, like the bird that was singing - tell her how safe and secure the nest he had build, it could protect against eagles, it could protect the eggs she will birth; he wanted to catch fresh rabbits for her and present it to her, bite off the juiciest breast for her, and like the red fox beg her to eat; he wanted to surround the mountain stream with his pee, so that every tree, every rock, would have his scent, would tell all the beast and hunters that this was his land. To let her freely play and catch food here, to not allow anyone to harm her, if anyone dared to cross into his land, to threaten her, he will be like the white tiger and fight him to death. 

This wild overpowering thoughts flashed through the dark sky like lightning, his ignorant heart burst into light. 

Spring, so this was Spring! 

… … 

The beast sadly looked at her for a while, then determined turned his back, and jumped down the precipice, dragging his broken leg, he limped towards the direction away from the mountain stream. He did not hide any signs of his route as he journeyed, in fact he would stop every now and then to listen, to confirm that Zhu Rong and soldiers had gone far away from the mountain stream, and was chasing him.

In this spring, where the flowers are blossoming and the butterflies are dancing, hundreds of years of loneliness and confusion have disappeared. But, at the moment he understood what to do in the beautiful spring, he could not live to the next spring day. The only thing he could do was to not let her get hurt.

Chapter 2: Mistakenly Falling into the Web

Chi You was rushing back to Shen Nong when a girl dressed in green asked how to go to Bo Fu country. That’s how they first met, under the red glow of the sky, Chi You says he is from Bo Fu and the girl introduces herself as a normal peasant, Xi Ling Heng, she can be called A’Heng.

They travel to Bo Fu, which is a country where water is very expensive. No one knows why but the Bo Fu Mountain started burning, hence water became scarce. At a shop, an old man comes in begging for water, and after Chi You and A’Heng struggles over the kettle for a while (Chi You telling A’Heng she can’t afford it), A’Heng gives water to the old man. The old man tells them that Bo Fu Mountain is burning because the Fire God, Zhu Rong, is cultivating his powers and fire there. This caused fights in the neighbouring villages as they are all fighting for the scarce water supply. At this, A’Heng secretly thinks to herself that this would be difficult to handle because the Fire God is one of the ten strongest gods.

While Chi You is resting, A’Heng goes up to the Bo Fu Mountain by herself. So, she climbs up and was about to step on something when she hears a cry and realises Chi You has fallen behind her. So, she runs back to help him and at that moment, the place A’Heng almost stepped on becomes a deep hole with a huge spout of steam shooting through [Chi You secretly saving her haha].

While A’Heng helps Chi You down the mountain, Chi You tells A’Heng he is not engaged yet and he has to tell his mother if she wants to marry him because she is hugging him so tightly as she helps him down (haha). It’s very cute because Chi You refuses to go back down and acts a bit like a village idiot - he insist that A’Heng is going treasure hunting on Bo Fu Mountain and wants to follow her up. He also delays her journey and often causes her to take the longer way during the route, but it’s implied that he has saved her from poison or dangerous potholes because of it. 

So finally, Chi You doesn’t want to go further, but A’Heng does not want to give up. So, A’Heng gives Chi You the special ice silkworm robe that her mother gave her to protect Chi You from the small blazes. Chi You can feel the coolness from the robe A’Heng placed on him and he asks what is it. A’Heng just tells him to wear it carefully, but instead of going down, Chi You gives a cunning smile and pretends to have twisted his ankle. Haha, so poor A’Heng has to carry Chi You —- and he becomes heavier with each step until A’Heng thinks she is carrying a small mountain. 

At one point, A’Heng takes out a box which looks like it’s made of white jade, but it’s actually made up of a ten thousand year old ice, and in it there are two ice silkworm kings. She tells Chi You to stand behind her and uses the two ice silkworm kings to cast an icy net over the fiery mountain so that the fire can be extinguished. It appears to work at first, then the fire fights back even stronger and A’Heng almost falls down the cliff but Chi You grabs her. A’Heng then pukes out blood and loses consciousness. 

The citizens of Bo Fu Mountain are shocked - there was a clash of white and red light, then silence. There was an ordinary night sky filled with stars- something the citizens have not seen in tens of years. As if the whole of Bo Fu had fallen under a spell. More extraordinarily, water started spouting out of the dry ground of Bo Fu and the citizens all dance in joy. 

A’Heng wakes up and she is surprised that the fire has been extinguished. She is suspicious and asks Chi You if he extinguished it as she saw a huge blaze of fire heading towards her. Chi You nods his head saying he threw the box and the fire extinguished - this causes her to lose her suspicion since Chi You is acting like a village idiot wanting credit (haha) and he doesn’t even recognize her ice silkworm kings. 

A’Heng asks Chi You if he has forgotten who owns this fire mountain. If the fire god Zhu Rong knows Chi You extinguished his fire, he will extinguish Chi You. Chi You starts to feign fear and starts to deny that he did anything, as he had fallen down after the box flew up and didn’t know what happen. As they head down the mountain, A’Heng cries to the crowd, “The Fire Extinguishing Hero is here!”

Translation:

Chi You tightly grabbed Xi Ling Heng’s hand, his face whitening, “Don’t, don’t anyhow cry, I did not extinguish the fire.” Xi Ling Heng laughed until she fell forward and backwards, and still continuously shouted, “The Fire Extinguishing Hero is here!”

Everyone surrounded them and knelt in front of them. 

Xi Ling Heng forcefully pushed Chi You in the midst of the crowd, and walked in front of the crowd and declared determinedly, “I extinguished the fire.” She winked at Chi You, I was only teasing you, you coward!

All the people started to splash water at Xi Ling Heng, as she tried to dodge, she also laughed, “All of you must remember, I am Xi Ling Heng, if anyone asks who extinguished the fire, you must say Xi Ling Heng.”

The people who were deep in the throngs of joy, splashed water and laughed, “Xi Ling, Xi Ling, Xi Ling saved us.”

Deep in the crowd, Chi You silently watched Xi Ling Heng who was dodging the water and laughing, his gaze was exceptionally dark and deep, the lazy smile on his lips revealed a barely discernible warmth.

Chapter Three: Making a Mistake Because of a Past Fate

The chapter starts one month later around the Fu Jian province. We see a green robed girl running as if her life depended on it onto a boat. Then, a red robed male chasing after her. The boatmen tries and defend the green robed girl until the red robed male…

"Let’s find a inn after we get down from the boat so we can make marriage arrangements."

Everyone is surprised. Then, the red robed male accuses the green robed girl of abandoning him after they have body contact - for eg, their embrace in the nights in the forest. The green robed girl retorts that it’s not her back on his chest, it’s his chest coming towards her back. The people are all shocked at the audacity of the green robed girl —- these youngsters!

The opening was very cute since for a moment you were worried the red robed male was Zhu Rong, but it turns out to be Chi You, who has been shamelessly following her for one month claiming they are already engaged (while secretly protecting her and keeping a look out for Zhu Rong). Since, A’Heng can’t argue back with Chi You, she embarrassedly runs away but Chi You catches up with her at an inn. 

At the inn, everyone is discussing about the drought and a figure called Shao Hao. This name catches Xi Ling Heng’s attention.

The drought is worse between the boundary of Shen Nong country and Gao Xing country. The refugees who have no way to go have started to rebel and even dared to kill members of the God tribe. Jun Emperor is so angry that his son, Shao Hao, volunteered to bring the army to subdue the rebellions.

One thousand and eight hundred years ago, Shao Hao already made his name known throughout the lands. It was spread that in his white robe with just one long sword he made the Shen Nong General’s hundred thousand army fall back. But, after he became famous, like a shooting star in the dark, he disappeared and have not appeared in one thousand over years.

Thus, he has become a legend. It is rumoured that he likes to make wine and play the guzheng - the wine he makes can cause the living to forget their troubles, the dead to smile; the music he plays can make the ground return to spring and a hundred flowers bloom. Shao Hao is also a legendary blacksmith who can create all kinds of wondrous weapons - he is not proud and is willing to give people guidance, but he destroys all the weapons he makes, so the existing weapons that he has forged which are still present on earth are very rare.

So in the shop, there is an argument as the Shen Nong people think the Gao Xing people are arrogant and it’s not possible for Shao Hao to be so powerful.  If he is so powerful, why doesn’t he attend the Emperor Mother’s Peach Banquet? They say he cannot be as powerful as their Zhu Rong (the Fire God), who has beaten tons of heroes at the Peach Banquet. The mocking of the Sheng Nong people are stopped by an old man. This is the same old man in Chapter 2, his special characteristic is that he has a samisen on his back (see the picture of the musical instrument at the top of the entry).

The old man starts to play his samisen and tell a story:

There’s a famous saying in the great wilderness, “One Mountain, Two Countries, Three Imperial Empires, Four Great Families”, but only the heroes from the Sheng Nong, Gao Xing and Xuan Yuan are famous now…

The One Mountain refers to Jade Mountain, the two Countries refer to Hua Xu Country and Liang Zhu Country. The Four Great Families are Chi Shui, Xi Ling, Gui Fang and Tu Shan. If we go by history, these people are actually older that the Three Imperial Tribes but One Mountain has a tradition of not bothering with worldy cares, the two Countries are almost illusory with people not being able to capture their real presence and the Four Great Families are reclusive to protect themselves.

As a side interlude, Chi You asks Xi Ling Heng if she has anything to do with the Xi Ling family. She says she has blood relations with them but is not part of the main line of the Xi Ling Family.

The old man continues his story and tells of how Shao Hao loves to forge weapons and had stayed in a remote village. However, when the six generation Jun Emperor was heavily ill, the God Tribe came to the remote village and that is when Shao Hao put down his blacksmith tools and wore his royal robes. This shocked all the villagers. The Gao Xing country places a lot of emphasis on rank and social proprieties, so for a royal prince like Shao Hao to come to a remote village to make farming tools and teach them his skills, it’s something completely unheard of. Although, Shao Hao appeared to completely disappear in the last thousand years, he has actually be going around capturing demons and helping the weak. Subduing the rebellious citizens is a difficult task, and yet he willingly volunteered to do it.

So the old man tells the mocking Shen Nong people - they better not say such things when they are in Gao Xing, or they will cause public outrage.

Xi Ling Heng lowered her head at this, it’s not clear what’s she thinking, her expression a mix of joy and worry. While, Chi You frowns as if he has heard something, and goes outside…

Chi You heard something and so tells A’Heng that he needs to go back to his hometown to tell his parents about their engagement and needs to leave her. A’Heng is only too happy and plans to head to the Southeast to find out how Shao Hao looks like. So they part, with Chi You reminding A’Heng his fiancee, that they will meet again. But, A’Heng says it’s better if they don’t ever meet again. 

Two days later, A’Heng reaches the Gao Xing country. The rivers are dry and the lands are infertile. A’Heng feels bad but there is nothing she can do here - this is not caused by someone but a natural disaster, even the gods cannot go against heaven’s will. 

She walks to a forest deep in the mountain when she comes across a sacrificial ritual being held at an old village. She is shocked as she sees two young girls lying on the sacrificial stage, one is already dead while the other appears to be mumbling something. A’Heng uses her powers to unravel some tree stands and while all the people try and dodge, she rescues the other girl on the stage. 

The girl is called Suo Ma, she’s the smartest young girl in the village, and was chosen as a sacrifice for the upcoming big war to pray for victory. The villagers are going to go against Shao Hao’s army. Suo Ma tells her that they believe Shao Hao’s army will help the nobles oppress them and not give them water to drink. A’Heng tries to convince Suo Ma that Shao Hao’s army is different and will help them arrange for a water supply. Suo Ma is silent for a while then smiles and say she will believe A’Heng who is a good god. Suo Ma mentions that the trees listen to A’Heng and asks if she practices the wood magic. A’Heng nods her head. 

Later, Suo Ma prepares some herbs for A’Heng’s dinner as repayment for saving her life. A’Heng feel her body weakened and her divine powers being frozen. It is revealed that Suo Ma fed A’Heng a rare herb that will cause gods who practise wood magic to not be able to practise it and become like mortals.

A’Heng for the first time understood why the Gods not only look down on the human tribe but also were scared of them - not because there were many humans but because in this world there will always be something that can restrict or oppose something else, Heavens have given the human tribe many valuable things to restrict the powers of the God Tribe if they only knew how to use it. 

So, Suo Ma knocks A’Heng unconscious. The next morning when she wakes up, A’Heng finds herself tied to the sacrificial stage where Suo Ma was yesterday. She was still unable to use her powers. So, the sacrifice starts and A’Heng feels her blood being drained from her…with her last strength she looks at the blue sky and thinks of her mother, father, brother… the shameless Chi You in his red robes also float before her eyes. She bitterly thinks to herself that indeed they won’t have a chance to meet again. 

Translation: 

The ritual master plunges a knife into A’Heng’s chest and she feels her consciousness turn dark. Just as she was going to be swallowed up by the eternal darkness, she feels her body being carried by a pair of warm hands. An elegant voice says, “Sorry, A’Heng, I came late!”

A soldier asks, “Your Highness, shall we exterminate the rebels?”

"They only did so for their tribe to live, their sins are not theirs, let them return to the village," The male voice hid sadness and pity. 

The man used his powers to close A’Heng’s divine consciousness and said in her ear, “A’Heng, I am Gao Xing’s Shao Hao.”

Shao Hao, the Shao Hao she wanted to see… Xi Ling Heng used all her force to try and open her eyes, but her consciousness disappeared in the midst of darkness.

In the late evening, a red-robed Chi You grandly landed from the sky.

Under the last residues of the sun, the old sacrificial stage which was stained with countless fresh blood had a dazzling beauty. 

There was rich divine essence in the air, but it announced that the divine essence holder had a bad demise…

Chi You walked towards the sacrificial stage, he laid in a comfortable position in the midst of the blood that was still fresh. He closed his eyes, and tried to gather Xi Ling Heng’s energy from the fresh blood, then used his own divine essence to travel through the ground and living things, to try and find traces of her life. 

Until the sky became completely dark, until he had used all of his divine powers, he had searched endlessly again and again but could not find any traces of her energy.

She had really died!

To think one teasing line will become true, they really will not be able to meet again!

As if stroking a lover, he gently stroked the sacrificial stage, letting the fresh blood flow through his fingers, he coldly mocked, “If I had known of this early, I might as well had let you die in Zhu Rong’s hands.”

He turned his body, and saw the full moon above the tree tops, he thought of the first time he saw Xi Ling Heng - it was also a night where the moon was full. Suddenly, he felt too tired, an exhaustion he has not felt in the few hundred years before, even a dread towards everything on this earth.

He closed his eyes, and fell into a deep sleep in her fresh blood. 

In the deep of the night, Chi You woke up, in his nose wafted the deep sweet stench of blood.

He clasped both his fist, placed it on top of his head, and respectfully bowed on the sacrificial stage. He faced the full moon that shone alone in the night, and felt an unending sense of loneliness, why did Heavens let him re-unite with her at Bo Fu Country?*

He closed his eyes and said softly, “Xi Ling Heng, if I knew it would end like this, we must as well not have met again.”

The divine essence moved with the flow of her fresh blood deep into the ground, all the trees in the village started to grow crazily, covering the roads, surrounding the walls, sealing shut the doors and windows. The people deep in their sleeps start to awake, they were alarmed at how the entire house was thick with vegetation, and they were still growing at a maniacal speed, what appeared like soft vegetation, had an unyielding energy, they broke cabinets, shattered stools, enshrouded every single person’s body, no matter male, female, young or old. 

Desperate cries of help rang through the mountain, countless mountains birds felt the horror, and squawked loudly as they flew again, the quiet mountain village become a demonic village. Chi You simply laid on the place Xi Ling Heng once laid, and lazily smiled at the sky.

The desperate cries slowly vanished, and the mountain returned to its silence, the entire village appeared to have completely vanished, only an extremely tightly wound thick vegetation remained. 

He jumped onto his special bird steed, and flew off into the sky. 

Under the moon light, the entire sacrificial stage appeared to be covered by vegetation from all sides. If you looked from above, you would see a huge green tomb. 

Chapter 4: If You Have The Intention, Please Admire The Beauty

In the west, there is a grand beautiful mountain called Jade (Yu) Mountain. The Jade Mountain is a sacred place since ancient time with especially strong divine essence, any divine weapon brought into the Jade Mountain will lose its powers - it is a special place where war can never happen. Thus, all the women who ruled Jade Mountain must be neutral and recluse herself from the affairs of the world. The Jade Mountain has protected many gods and demons during the wars - even the Sheng Nong and Gao Xing Tribes both owe a debt of gratitude to the Jade Mountain, hence even the Three Emperors will give latitude to the Jade Mountain.

The woman who rule the Jade Mountain is the Emperor Mother (Wang Mu). Every thirty years, she will hold a peach banquet and invite the heroes of the world to gather. It is again the time for such a banquet and the Jade Mountain is particularly busy with all the guests who came from afar.

The red-robed Chi You briskly walked from the mountain spring, his expression cold, his gaze sharp. 

There were many peach blossom trees next to the mountain spring, they blossom for thousands of years without falling. 

A gush of wind flew by and the peach blossom flowers starts to fall rapidly, lightly brushing Chi You’s eye brows, cheeks, shoulder, his pace began to slowed down, as he watched the rain of flowers, he appeared to be in a trance, his aura one of unending sadness.

His gaze followed the flower petals as they danced in the wind… from far away, a girl in green robes was sitting down and playing with a stalk of peach blossom flower in her hand. Her head was lowered as she slowly plucked the petals and teased the fishes in the mountain spring.

Chi You’s heart beat hastened and rapidly walked towards the girl while gazing steadfastly at her, but there were many flowers blocking his view and he could not see clearly. When he finally reached, he could no longer see the girl in green robes.

He anxiously surveyed the place and a clear laughter came from inside the Peach Blossom Forest. Chi You flew towards the laughter and saw a group of girls playing. Chi You quickly reached out to grab the girl in green, “A’Heng!” The girl laughed and turned her head. 

Chi You’s hand stopped in mid air, it wasn’t her!

Their silhouettes were almost identical, in one moment, he had been confused and thought it was A’Heng. But A’Heng had already died for two years, the skip in his heart was only an illusion in the rain of flowers. 

His expression darkened and he turned to leave. The red blossoms by the mountain spring were dazzling but in his eyes, there were no more colour, only an inexpressible loneliness.

In the middle of the Peach Blossom Forest, two women were walking with each other, from their looks, they did not appear to differ much in age, but it was clear that there was a seniority gap. One was the eldest princess of Shen Nong country Yun Sang, the other was the Jade Emperor’s Emperor Mother.

It was rumored that the Jade Mountain contained many treasures, Yun Sang curiously asked what precious treasures laid in the Jade Mountain.

The Emperor Mother started to describe each item.

As Yun Sang was born from an ancient God tribe and was extremely well-learned, she has heard before of the treasures the Emperor Mother described, but the greatest of the god weapon was something she had never heard of before - it turned out to be a bow without an arrow.

Yun Sang asked, “I have only heard of the Pan Gu Axe which the Great Emperor Pan Gu used to create the lands, but is there really no arrow that can be used with this bow? Since there is no arrow, how can the bow be used?”

The Jade Emperor’s personality was serious and hardly smiled, but she was gentle to Yun Sang, “This bow is not used for killing, but used for searching. In my ancestor’s manual, it is recorded that after the Great Emperor Pan Gu created the lands, he was so busy governing it that he lost the love of his life. To see her again, he thought deep and hard, and thus created this bow. It is said that if you can pull the bow fully and your heart thinks of the other, no matter the distance, no matter a god or demon, no matter dead or alive, you will meet again.”

"How to meet? Can this bow show the direction?"

"I don’t know. After the Great Fu Xi King passed away, the Great Nu Wa King once came up to the Jade Mountain to borrow the bow, but even after using all her powers to pull the bow fully, it could not sense any presence of the Great Fu Xi King at all, much less a reunion."

Although Yun Sang was matured, she still possessed a young girl’s heart and she sighed, “So it turns out that the Great Nu Wa King was also once a normal girl, who will because of a heart’s yearning try everything possible. But if the Great Emperor Pan Gu is so omniscient and omnipotent, how can he not be able to find the girl he love?”

"I don’t know."

"Did the Great Emperor Pan Gu reunite with the girl he love?"

The Emperor Mother laughed, “How would I know? All these were recorded in the ancient records and whether it is real or false, no one can know now.”

At this point, Chi You separated the branches of the peach blossom tree and walked over, “I want the Pan Gu Bow.”

The Emperor Mother’s heart was alarmed, she did not sense his presence nearby, her tone remained gentle, “That is the most important divine treasure here and cannot be given to you.”

Before Chi You could speak again, Yun Sang quickly added, “What treasure will be given at the Peach Banquet this time?” And said to Chi You, “If you want a divine weapon, you may fight for this treasure.”

"It is not the Pan Gu Bow, but it is also a rare treasure," The Emperor Mother was planning to leave, "The Princess of the Xuan Yuan Tribe is visiting the Jade Mountain for the first time, I have to go see her now."

Yun Sang had once learned how to cultivate silk worms to make silk from the Empress of the Xuan Yuan Tribe and had played with the Xuan Yuan Princess for ten years. She said happily, “So little sister is also here, I have not seen her in years, I shall find her later.”

As Yun Sang watched the Emperor Mother walked away, she half cautioned and half begged Chi You, “I know you don’t care for rules and are rebellious, but this is not Sheng Nong, please don’t create trouble here or no one will be able to save you.”

"I know," Chi You smiled, as he surveyed the Peach Blossom Forest.

[Yun Sang warns Chi You to be careful again as her father, the Yan Emperor, had asked her to bring Chi You to come here to understand the politics of the Great Wilderness. She tells Chi You that he also cannot offend the Princess of the Xuan Yuan Tribe. Although the Yellow Emperor has four concubines and nine sons, he has only one princess who is born from the Empress. Furthermore, from young, she has already been engaged to the Gao Xing tribe and her fiance is Gao Xing’s Shao Hao, who is likely to inherit the throne of Gao Xing one day.

Afterwards, Yun Sang goes to visit the Princess of the Xuan Yuan Tribe and gets amused by the special Ao Tu inn, Ao Tu is like the chinese words (凹凸) - meaning sticking out and sticking in, uneven. There is a trick to the water which causes the reflection of the person to be fatter or thinner than the person actually is - Yun Sang laughs at it, and also realises the trick. I won’t go a lot into this but this is where she meets a handsome young man and starts her fate with him - this man was the one who designed the Ao Tu inn. The handsome young man is one of the generals of Shao Hao and had came to give medicine to who he believes is the fiancee of Shao Hao, he mistakes Yun Sang for the Princess of Xuan Yuan Tribe.

The Princess of Xuan Yuan Tribe says she got injured and Shao Hao saved her, but she complains that she never got a a chance to see Shao Hao’s face. Yun Sang and the Princess of the Xuan Yuan Tribe part.]

The Peach Blossom Garden appeared to be covered by a light red haze.

Chi You flew across, standing in the middle of the garden, he took a red cloth and covered his eyes. In the day, he already realised that the Jade Mountain and Peach Blossom Forest was a big formation, if you did not want to be confused by illusions, you will have to cover your eyes and use your sense to feel the minute differences of the divine essence.

After going forward and back, turning here and there, he finally broke the formation and entered the Jade Mountain’s palace. Even though it appeared easy, but once you entered, you will immediately die if you took a wrong step. In the tens of thousands of years, he was the only one who successfully entered. 

Chi You ignored all the other divine weapons and immediately charged to the bow. The bow’s body was black, but it was inscribed with red flower patterns. As if it sensed that Chi You wanted it, the bow started to glow, it became big then small, when it was big it was taller than a person, when it was small, it was not bigger than an inch. Chi You finally understood what the Emperor Mother meant when she said no arrow could fit the bow - if it could change its size constantly, which arrow in the world could fit?

Chi You gazed at it for a moment, used full divine power, and quickly grabbed the bow. Not knowing what sensor it set off, the whole palace started to tremble and sharp dragon rocks started to fall down. Chi You quickly dodged and quickly dispersed the peach leaves he had prepared earlier - these leaves were naturally part of the Jade Mountain and could provide a perfect camouflage. 

As Chi You clumsily escaped from the palace, he had injuries all over his body and was incredibly worn down. The soldiers had already arrived and he ignored his exhaustion and started to run. 

There was nowhere to hide in the forest, he could only run towards the mountain spring. 

A full moon hung in the sky and gently shone over the mountain spring and peach blossom forest. 

A girl in green robes was holding up her skirt, her naked feet kicking the water. 

In that moment, there was no noise left, in Chi You’s eyes was only the green robed girl under the moon light, under the shadow of the flowers, every single action became incredibly clear and slow in his eyes. Chi You half suspected it was only a dream, but as he ran and stared at her, his eyes unblinking, he was scared that if he blinked, she will disappear.

Shouts rang across and broke the silence, the green robed girl laughed and turned around, Chi You’s body froze, and he stopped. 

Under the full moon light, the girl’s face was clear, it was the one he had been constantly searching, the one he thought was dead - Xi Ling Heng.

"Chi You? Why are you here?" Xi Ling Heng jumped, her face full of surprise, although she appeared fierce, her eyes could not hide her pleasure.

Chi You was dazed for a moment then quickly flew towards her, grabbing her and staring at her intently - he realised this was real, “Then why are you here?”

Xi Ling Heng did not bother to answer and pointed at the soldiers, “Why are they chasing you? Did you steal something?”

Chi You shrugged his shoulders, “I took a bow from the Jade Mountain, but I have no use for it anymore, I can return it to them.

Xi Ling Heng’s expression quickly changed, “You, You, you are looking for death! This is the sacred Jade Mountain, even the Yellow Emperor, Yan Emperor, Jun Emperor have to follow the rules here.” Xi Ling Heng was incredibly anxious but Chi You was very calm as he watched and smiled at Xi Ling Heng’s anxiety.

Seeing the soldiers near, Xi Ling Heng kicked Chi You into the water, “Quick escape! I will block the soldiers. Run away from the Jade Mountain and throw away the bow! No matter what happens, don’t ever reveal that you stole something from the Jade Mountain or you will definitely die.”

With a traitorous expression on Chi You’s face, his head floated above the water and said anxiously, “Good fiancee, if you are unlucky, no matter what you must not get me involved!”

Xi Ling Heng huffed, “Get lost!”

Seeing that the soldiers were rushing over, Xi Ling Heng surreptitiously sneaked a look at the water and only gave a sigh of relief when she saw that Chi You had vanished. Although she felt a strange sense that something was not right, she was already surrounded by the soldiers and decided not to dwell on it - better to delay the soldiers!

The next day, everything appeared to be the same on Jade Mountain, but all the guests could sense there was a difference.

Yun Sang ordered her maidservant to find out what happened. She submitted, “Yesterday night, a divine weapon was stolen from the Jade Mountain Ground Palace.”

Yun Sang was so angry that her eyes almost spouted fire, she glared at Chi You and was about to erupt when her maidservant continued, “But, apparently the thief has been caught.”

Yun Sang’s heart relaxed and she gave a sheepish smile to Chi You and scolded her maidservants, “Next time, don’t break when you speak, say it in one go.”

The maidservant was just ordered to follow Yun Sang and weren’t used yet to her outwardly cold but inwardly warm personality, she nervously replied, “Yes!”

Yun Sang asked, “Who is so brave to dare offend the Jade Mountain?”

"I couldn’t find out because apparently the Emperor Mother interrogated the thief for half a night but still could not find the stolen weapon, so they have grounded her.. but…" The maidservant could not finish speaking in one go, her face turned red.

Yun Sang said exasperatedly, “Take a breath before continuing to speak.”

The maidservant was helpless and looked like she was about to cry. The instigator of all this, Chi You, laughed, “But what?”

The maidservant took a deep breath and quickly replied, “But the Emperor Mother said she was the only one present when the theft happened and has the greatest suspicion, if she could not prove her innocence, she will be forced to stay on the Jade Mountain for one hundred and twenty years.”

Chi You fell in deep thought, “Grounded for one hundred and twenty years?”

Yun Sang waved her hand to indicate the maidservant can leave and said lightly, “That’s already very light. When one does something wrong on Jade Mountain, what’s most frightening is not the Emperor Mother’s punishment but that she does not punish. If she hands over the thief directly to his or her tribe, the tribe must answer to Jade Mountain, answer to all the people in the land, the punishment will only be heavy and not light.”

Chi You stared at the mountain spring outside the window, the peach blossom flowers that bloom for a thousand years, and was silent.

At nightfall, the Peach Blossom Banquet begun, the seats were situated next to the mountain spring, inside the pavillion, the cushion and tables were arranged in what appeared to be in a casual way, but were actually carefully thought out.

At the host table, four seats were arranged - Emperor Mother sat at the main position, on her right was Gao Xin’s Prince Ji Li, on her left was Shen Nong’s Princess Yun Sang, and next to Yun Sang was Xuan Yuan’s Prince Chang Yi. Near them were the representatives from the Four Great Clans, and further away were the guests from the other tribes.

Chi You sat in the seats for Shen Nong, as he slowly appreciated the wine, he examined the surroundings for Xi Ling Heng, but did not discover her. She must have been grounded because of the mistake.

On the practice stage, fighters started to compete with their divine powers and martial techniques, the winner will win a treasure prepared by the Emperor Mother. At the start, it was just a game to please the guest as they drank wine, but in the thousands of years later, it slowly became an excellent opportunity for heroes from the various tribes to compete on their skills and to gain attention from the rest of the wilderness.

The Emperor Mother commanded her maidservant to open the treasure box. It contained a beautiful dazzling peach blossom. She said, “This is the Beauty Preserving Flower* that was nurtured from the divine essence of the Jade Mountain. It is not only a divine weapon, it can help its owner maintain her or his youthful looks without needing to use any divine essence.”

All the girls dream of preserving their looks and thus gave a gasp of surprise.

Chi You had left the banquet with the excuse of changing his robes, but when he heard the gasp of surprise, he turned around to see the Beauty Preserving Flower, his heart moved and he stopped his pace.

Chi You stood aside quietly watching the fights, until the last round when the champion was about to announce, he speedily dash onto the stage, within a few moves he caused the winner to decline and with lightning speed obtained the Beauty Preserving Flower. He turned to the Emperor Mother, “Many thanks!” and quickly jumped off the stage and calmly went off.

The entire banquet was shocked!

The soon to be winner was the a hero from a famous god tribe, but was easily beaten by Chi You in a few moves. But, not a single guest recognized Chi You, all of them whispered in each other’s ear, trying to figure out who he was.

Deep in Yun Sang’s heart she was scolding Chi You, but on the face of it she fully protected Chi You, and tried to find an excuse for his rude behavior.

But, the Emperor Mother did not mind and just lightly announced that Shen Nong’s Chi You was the winner.

Yesterday when Chi You met with A’Heng, he appeared indifferent but when he held her hand, he was carefully examining her injuries and also left a mark on her. Following this mark, Chi You very easily found Xi Ling Heng.

Deep in the night, Xi Ling Heng was holding a silk spindle and following the path of the mountain spring. As she walked, she turned around to check, as if she was checking that she was not being followed.

Chi You noticed that her actions seemed strange so he followed her silently, hiding in the darkness.

[Xi Ling Heng meets with Shao Hao’s general, Nuo Nai, the one who had met Princess Yun Sang and mistook her for Xuan Yuan Tribe’s Princess Xi Ling Heng. Basically, Yun Sang has a crush on Nuo Nai and so wants to learn more about him —- Xi Ling Heng passes word to Nuo Nai that the Xuan Yuan Princess (who he still thinks is Yun Sang) want to discuss architecture with him and this starts the writing of letters between Nuo Nai and Yun Sang. So A’Heng passes the message from Yun Sang to Nuo Nai General and they part.]

Suddenly, she feels a light wet coolness on her face, she raised her head, and under the gleaming moon light, the sky full of snow white peach blossom petals swirled and danced around her. It was as if winter suddenly descended and the land was being covered by white snow, but it gave a sense of greater gentleness, a sense of soft beauty. 

Xi Ling Heng happily raised both her hands, caught a bunch of peach blossom petals and lightly smelt them under her nose. The light sweet smell wafted in, this was not an illusion, these were real peach blossom flowers. 

She couldn’t resist and started to dance in the midst of the “snow flowers”, sometimes lightly raising her long gown, sometimes rapidly retrieving her robe sleeves, her gestures were gentle and smooth, her steps light and swift, as if she was a flower demon.

She laughed, “Chi You, is it you?”

Chi You slowly appeared, in his fingers held the Beauty Preserving Flower, he smiled and stood in the snow of peach blossom flowers, as firm as the mountain peaks and as still as the valley rivers, possessing an extraordinary aura, it added touches of male strength to the soft beauty of the peach blossom flower. 

As if she was in a dream, Xi Ling Heng stopped dancing and dazedly stared at Chi You. 

Both of them gazed at each other in the midst of the snow, both not making a sound, only the sky full of white flowers, lightly, softly, floating down endlessly, it was not known if they could not bear to break this moment of beauty, or there was some emotion in their hearts. 

After a while, Xi Ling Heng lightly said, “I knew you would not listen to me and escape down the mountain.”

Chi You smiled and did not speak. 

Xi Ling Heng slowly walked to his front, carefully examining him, “After you left yesterday night, I realised that even if you were a skilled person from Sheng Nong, not many could escape fully after stealing a treasure from the Jade Mountain Ground Palace. You saved me as well on Bo Fu Mountain, didn’t you? Who really are you?”

"I am who I am."

Xi Ling Heng said furiously, “Stop lying to me, I want your real name!”

"Jiu Li** tribe’s witch sorcerers called me the Beast King, Shen Nong’s gods called me a monster, some called me a beast, Shi Fu (Teacher) and Yu Wang call me Chi You."

While Chi You calmly said it, Xi Ling Heng’s heart soured for no reason, she said lowly, “Your divine powers are not weak, I thought you were a famous hero of Shen Nong, but turns out you are not famous at all.”

Chi You blew at the Beauty Preserving Flower in the middle of his fingers, and the flower slowly grew bigger, about the length of one chi***, the stalk started to grow full of flower buds, there were red and white, it was extremely beautiful and he passed it to Xi Ling Heng.

No young girl dislikes a beautiful flower, Xi Ling Heng pleasantly received it, “You are giving this to me?”

Chi You nodded his head. 

"Thank you." Although Xi Ling Heng just gave thanks, she pouted her lips and gave Chi You a glare before turning around and walking, "Big Liar! You are so powerful but you bullied me in Bo Fu Country!"

She reached the cliff top and sat on a flat rock, Chi You sat by her side and called lightly, “A’Heng.”

Xi Ling Heng turned her head aside and ignored him, just excitedly playing with the Beauty Preserving Flower, and watching as the snow fell heavier and heavier. 

Chi You sat and watched for awhile, then he covered his mouth with both hands and gave out a few cries. In a while, two birds flew holding one stalk of peach over, the leaves were glistening green with drops of night dew, and in the middle was a luscious peach. One look and it was certain that it was extremely delicious.

The god tribes can use their divine powers to control demon beasts and bird sprites, but to order normal animals to listen was not possible. Xi Ling Heng watched in utter shock and amazement. The two birds fluttered their wings in front of her and started to sing, as if inviting her to eat the peach.

Xi Ling Heng could not restrain herself and swallowed a few mouths of saliva, she gave one look to Chi You and took the peach and bit into it. It was extremely fresh, its sweet taste rushing straight to her heart, it was even more delicious than any fruit she has ever eaten.

"So delicious!"

Chi You watched A’Heng, smiling without speaking, this was the most delicious peach in the entire Jade Mountain. Once, he did not understand why the red fox always gave the most delicious food away, but after watching A’Heng smiling eyes, he understood.

A’Heng’s heart gave an unknown flutter, and she did not dare to look at Chi You anymore. She lowered her head and quietly played with the peach blossom flower, ate the peach, and felt a sense of unknown alarm, fear, but also an indescribable sweetness.

A sky full of flowers flying like the snow, they sat side by side on top of the rock cliff. Chi You lifted his head to watch the glistening moon light, only feeling a sense of quiet pleasure in his heart, as if in this deep mountain, he can finally be carefree and no longer lonely.

15 3 / 2014

Dear Readers,

Thanks for your continued support and I apologize for disappearing for the past 1.5 years. I love translating as a hobby, but I made it secondary to my life outside of SSB/tumblr/spcnet. Decembi has kindly continued my translations of Heavy Sweetness, Ash-like Frost, which can be accessed here.

Now that my life has settled down (I graduated college and am working in medical gaming and simulations development), I would like to bring you guys some good news! Decembi and I have decided to work together and bring you another amazing novel by Tong Hua, Once Promised. I translated a beautiful scene from it before. This is quite possibly the only book in which the side characters are just as well developed as the main characters, and there is a slew of side characters. I love this book not for the characters themselves, but for their interactions - love, betrayal, friendship, brotherhood, and revenge.

Once Promised is a difficult book to read and translate. There is so much history and mythology in the novel, and it is a good deal longer than the projects I’ve picked before. Expect lots of footnotes!

Decembi and I have worked out a system in which she will summarize and translate the odd numbered chapters (e.g. 5, 7, 9), while I will be translating the even numbered chapters. We will be posting our respective chapters on our separate blogs, and a week after posting, you will only find her translations on her blog, and my translations here. After a week, we will be able to post each other’s translations (credited, of course) along with the next chapter of our translations. Basically, by the end of out translations, I should have a full version on my tumblr, and she should have a full version on her blog. I would really appreciate if you support Decembi as well, because this a joint effort.

I know that she has already translated the Prologue to Ch. 5, but here is my version of the prologue. Our writing styles are quite different, and mine has matured a bit (I think…), but we will try to standardize the names and titles as much as possible. I will post her Ch. 1-5 and my Ch. 6 within the week. Thanks again for your time and support!

I know this is the wrong time period and costume, but the picture evokes the same feeling I get from Once Promised - the longing with a hint regret, and the sense of wonder if something is out there, just waiting to be experienced.

Prologue

When the universe was still in chaos, when the primordial masses began to form, there was only one ruler in the world. He is the one who split the Heavens from the Earth, the creator of the world, the Grand Emperor Pan Gu.

During that time, the Heavens were not light years away from the Earth. Man’s dwelling was on Earth, while gods lived on the Immortal Mount, but men could ascend the Heavenly Steps to visit the deities. Gods, men, and demons lived amongst each other on Heaven and Earth.

The Grand Emperor Pan Gu had three subordinates he considered his brethren.  The most powerful one was a woman, but because so much time has passed, her name has already been forgotten. We only know that she created the Kingdom of Hua Xu, so we call her Lady Hua Xu [1]. One of the other two men was Lord Shen Nong, the guardian of the Central Plains, who brought peace to the world. The other was Lord Gao Xin, the guardian of the East, where the sun rises every day without fail and where the far-reaching waters converge.

After the Grand Emperor Pan Gu passed away, the world became embroiled in wars. Lady Hua Xu tired of the endless battles, so she withdrew from society and left for a distant place. She founded the beautiful and auspicious Hua Xu Kingdom, but she was remembered by posterity not because Hua Xu Kingdom, but because her son, Fu Xi, and her daughter Nu Wa [2].

Fu Xi and Nu Wa were considered equally powerful, and were admired by heroes all over the world. They finally ended the war, and ascended as the Grand Emperor Fu Xi and the Grand Empress Nu Wa [3].

The land, riddled with battle scars, welcomed the peace and gradually recovered its vigor.

A few thousand years later, the Grand Emperor Fu Xi passed away, and the Grand Empress Nu Wa grieved uncontrollably.

What is one land’s loss is another’s gain. As Fu Xi’s people weakened, Shen Nong of the Central Plains and Gao Xin of the Southeast became the two superpowers. Outwardly, it seemed like they were abiding to the blood alliance and mutual peace treaty that they had signed in front of Grand Emperor Fu Xi and Grand Empress Nu Wa years ago, but secretly, they were consumed by ambition and wanted to conquer another.

In the northwest part of the world, there was an unknown mountain called Xuan Yuan Mount. At the foot of the mountain lived an unnoticed little tribe of deities – the Xuan Yuan Tribe. One time, after a magnificent sacrificial offering ceremony, the an elder of the Xuan Yuan Tribe stood his ground and chose a young hero of the tribe as their leader, but even that elder did not anticipate what kind of great deeds the young man would achieve.

After only a few thousand years, that young man strengthened the obscure Xuan Yuan Tribe, and by the time Shen Nong and Gao Xin realized how dangerous he was, they had already missed the best time to annihilate him. They had not other option but to watch the Xuan Yuan Tribe become the third largest clan of deities and as powerful as the ancient immortal tribes of Shen Nong and Gao Xin.

The most powerful of the three great clans was the Shen Nong Tribe, the descendants of Lord Shen Nong whom Pan Gu ordered to protect the Central Plain all those years ago. Their leader was called the Yan Emperor and governed Shen Nong with benevolence. The next was the Gao Xin Tribe, the descendants of Lord Gao Xin tasked to protect the Southeast all those years ago. Their leader was called the Shun Emperor and governed the country by ceremony. Lastly, there was the newly founded Xuan Yuan Tribe, who controlled the Northwest. Their leader was called the Yellow Emperor and governed his country through laws.

Henceforth, Shen Nong of the Central Plains, Gao Xin of the Southeast, and Xuan Yuan of the Northwest divided the world into three as three opposing forces.

__________________________________________________________

[1] Literally, belonging to the Hua Xu family.

[2] Although Fu Xi and Nu Wa were siblings, they were also believed to be husband and wife.

[3] Fu Xi and Nu Wa actually have the same title, but I differentiated due to their genders. I wanted to emphasize that Nu Wa was Empress in her own right, not because she was Empress Consort to Fu Xi.

02 6 / 2013

image

Here is the much belated final part to Chapter 7. Thanks to my readers who have continued to visit my tumblr despite my lengthy (9 month) hiatus. With this done, there are still 17 more chapters to this novel, plus the epilogues. Although I cannot promise to be as prompt at translating as I had been last summer, I will try to pick up my translations again. I’ve read this book so many times, but Jin Mi’s antics never fail to make me laugh, which make translating much more enjoyable.

From now on, I’m going to try to make my translations more smooth and colloquial. Before, I’ve always tried to translate it nearly word for word, but the translations sometimes turn out stiff and the humor not as obvious. I’ve been rereading my old translations and will try to revise those as well, so feel free to revisit a chapter and give me pointers.

So now, back to the story. We have a really angry Fire Deity with a drunk little local god and as usual, a patient Night Deity. What do you get when you add a very confused Jin Mi to the mix? Read on to find out. :)

Chapter 7 Part 2: Vinegar Can Also Cause Drunkenness

The moon tonight appeared extremely bright and round, shining brightly on the little bridge and running waters in the middle of the flower garden, the ornamental hill and the pavilion. The Phoenix, Xiao Yu Xian Guan and I were sitting at an Eight Immortals Table [4] drinking wine, which I though was very harmonious and satisfactory. Besides the local god, who was kneeling there, bearing a broom half of a person’s height on his back, and occasionally wiping beads of sweat from his forehead with his sleeve. He did not seem very satisfied.

“This minor immortal came with a rod to beg for punishment from the two high immortals!” This time, the local god’s tongue was very direct, and finally was not tongue-tied, appearing to have woken from his drunken stupor.

“Do you know where you were wrong?” Xiao Yu Xian Guan was mild and patient. “This minor immortal was wrong a thousand times, ten thousand times, I really should not have coveted the stuff in the cups! This minor immortal was wrong a thousand times, ten thousand times, I really should not have secretly taken Lian Guang Gong Zi out of the courtyard! This minor immortal was wrong a thousand times, ten thousand times, I really shouldn’t have taught Lian Guang Gong Zi how to gamble!” The local god very quickly and sincerely listed his wrongdoings, one after another.

“Hmm? Just these?” Xiao Yu Xian Guan smiled at the local god, as mildly as possible.

The local god trembled a little, “This minor immortal is guilty of the most heinous crime and deserves ten thousand deaths, and should definitely, definitely not have taken Ling Guang Gong Zi to a place of prostitution!” He immediately fell to the ground, prostate, and pled guilty.

“And what else?” The Phoenix asked coldly.

“Eh?” The local god got up and blinked, and said sorrowfully: “There’s nothing else, there’s really nothing else!”

The Phoenix swished the osmanthus wine in his cup, gently sipped a mouthful, and leisurely said: “I heard that in the mortal world there is a punishment called ‘implication by relation’. There is a manor a thousand miles away from here, which seems to house a nest of mountain bandits. I do not come down to the mortal world very often, so why don’t I right wrongs by heaven’s decree and conveniently put and an end to it?”

The local god wiped away his tears, “All the little bandits inside that house are this minor deity’s human brother’s great-grandson’s children of the thirty-sixth generation. I beg Second Highness ten thousand times to spare them!” It really is true that the emperor has a couple of poor relatives, and that immortals also have a few mortal relatives.

“Hmm?” The Phoenix flicked his eyes over the local god and drew out that last sound: “This god is inexperienced and uninformed. I had heard of something called ‘the four great pleasures in life,’ but what are they?”

The local god swayed a little. He suddenly turned towards me and solemnly said: “Ling Guang Gong Zi, this minor deity had drunk so much that I was muddled earlier. Actually the four great pleasures in life are ‘music, chess, writing, and drawing’.” In the end, he also laughed drily a couple of times, “A slip of the tongue, it was truly just a slip of the tongue!”

Eh? This slip of the tongue was too far, wasn’t it? I was then hesitant and undecided, but the Phoenix stretched out his hand and flicked me on my forehead: “Fortunately your immortal aura is still stable and wasn’t contaminated by that filthy air.”

The local god let out a long breath, but then heard the Phoenix continue to say: “Starting tomorrow, you should go to Lao Jun’s [5] place as a servant to tend the oven.”

With a mournful expression, the local god said: “Second Highness, Lao Jun’s place is like a steam pot. This minor god fears heat. If I enter there, I’m afraid that that I’ll be cooked before the pills are. Can you change the punishment?”

This instance proves that bargaining with a cold-hearted deity like the Phoenix is a foolish move because the Phoenix simply murmured to himself: “There is another position that is still available. I heard that the Avici Hell [6] needs Hell Messengers to catch spirits, why don’t you go there for a few days first?”

“Thank you, Second Highness, for your kindness. This minor immortal is willing to go to Lao Jun’s estate to tend the fire.” The minor god wiped away a handful of bitter tears that were flowing in all directions and was sent away by Xiao Yu Xian Guan.

“Immortal Lady Jin Mi is very skilled at brewing wine.” Xiao Yu Xian Guan slowly savored the osmanthus wine in his hand and changed the topic.

“Not at all, not at all.” I pretended to be courteous, “If Ren Yu Xian Guan likes it, Jin Mi is willing to teach you the formula for brewing this wine.”

“Then it’s settled, the night when the tuberose blooms blooms next, Ren Yu will definitely tidy up and respectfully await Immortal Lady Jin Mi’s instruction.” Xiao Yu Xian Guan’s smile was like being washed by a spring breeze.

I crisply voiced my agreement.

On the side, the Phoenix was pouring wine and drinking by himself, his expression was that of indifference. I solicitously raised the wine pot to pour him wine. He did not say anything, but allowed me to fill his cup up. I was accustomed to his usual cold remarks, but now he was eerily silent.

After that, I seemingly became their wine-pouring servant. The two of them drank one cup after another, the wine was never-ending, but they did not even exchange a word, not did they ever exchanged a glance. They drank roughly five jugs in this way. Xiao Yu Xian Guan used one hand to support his forehead and smiled at me, the expression in his eyes flashed dimly before they closed. I put the wine pot down and called out to him twice but did not see him respond at all.

“He’s drunk.” The Phoenix glanced at Xiao Yu Xian Guan and concluded. The side of my leg was a bit itchy, but it was that sika deer Nightmare Beast rubbing at my gown. That little beast did not know how to speak, but its meaning was clear. I chanted a spell to move Xiao Yu Xian Guan to its back and it carried Xiao Yu Xian Guan on its back into the vast night, flying towards the Heavenly World, probably to return to Xuan Ji Palace.

The Phoenix’s facial expression was complex as he looked at me, and seeing his posture, I did not think he was drunk yet. Why is it that the one who was supposed to get drunk is not drunk, while the one who was not suppose to get drunk is drunk. I continued to hold the wine pot and pour him wine. By the fifteenth wine jug, I simply discarded the wine pot and directly poured him wine from the jug. By the twentieth jug, I was alarmed. I never knew that the Phoenix was actually a master at drinking wine, perhaps he could drink a thousand cups and not get drunk like me? But the wine was almost gone and I did not know what I should do after that.

I sat down on the stone chair next to the Phoenix, deliberated for a while, and then opened my mouth to say: “That… that… You still owe me three hundred years of cultivation. Why don’t you take advantage of such an auspicious occasion like tonight and transfer it to me?”

I did not see him respond for quite a while, perhaps he changed his mind?! I raised my head and looked at him, but saw that he had not moved an iota and was just sitting there. Just now, looking at him from far away I did not see it, but looking more closely, I realized that there were two very light smears of red on his cheeks, his eyes were covered with a glossy, moist layer, making his pupils appear even more black.

What is matter with him, sitting so drily like that? I repeated myself a couple more time, but he still ignored me. I got a bit anxious and used my hand to poke him lightly, but he unexpectedly wobbled a bit and smoothly fell onto my shoulder. The scent of the osmanthus wine hit me full on. That was when I realized that he had actually become drunk a long time ago.

When normal people become drunk, some talk a lot, like the local god, and some like to smile, for example, Xiao Yu Xian Guan. I’ve also heard that some dance and jump for joy, but then, I did not think there were many like the Phoenix, who were silent, not uttering a single word, and even put on airs to bluff.

I wanted to chant a spell to move him back into the side room, but since he was leaning on mean and had the tendency to slide along my arm towards the ground, I could only spare an arm to hold him, as the other arm was held down so that I could not even move it, not to mention using a spell.

As such, I half dragged, half supported him into the side room. This fellow was indeed a bit heavy, but can still be considered obedient, as he did not move around and add to my burden.

With great effort, I positioned him on the bed, but I saw that he still held that empty wine cup in his hand. His moist, red lips were slightly curved, his eyes were shut, lacking their usual sharpness, two curtains of eyelashes casting two obedient little shadows beneath his eyes. Looking at him like this, he seemed like a child still in adolescence.

Children, ah, are just meant to be bullied! I extended two fingers to pinch his cheeks, rubbing and kneading at them. What a delight!

Just as I was at the height of my enthusiasm, he swiftly opened his eyes, looked at me forcefully, and opened his mouth to say: “What kind of little demon are you?!”

_______________________________________________

[4] Chinese: 八仙桌, a square table seating eight people

[5] The god of medicine.

[6] In Buddhism, the last and deepest of the eight hot hells, where the condemned go through an endless cycle of suffering, death and rebirth.

02 6 / 2013

Hi all, I know it’s been a while since a posted anything. I’ve recently finished watching Beijing Love Story (北京爱情故事) and LOVED it. Yes, the storyline has a few cliches but watching the growth (and fall) of these seven main characters was bittersweet and touching. I was amazed at how much character development and plot twists the actor/scriptwriter/director extraordinaire Chen Si Cheng was able to fit in the script. If you find extra time on your hands, give this drama a try!

I’ve translated the main insert song, Di Da, below. It’s simple song, but it’s beautiful and sweet. Enjoy! 

滴答

Di Da

滴答滴答滴答滴答,
时间他不停在转动。

Di da di da di da di da (the sound of raindrops falling),

Time is unceasingly turning.

滴答滴答滴答滴答,
小雨他拍打着水花。

Di da di da di da di da,

Small raindrops are splashing.

滴答滴答滴答滴答,
是不是还会牵挂他。

Di da di da di da di da,

Is she still worrying for him?

滴答滴答滴答滴答,
有几滴眼泪已落下。

Di da di da di da di da,

A few tears have already fallen.

滴答滴答滴答滴答,
寂寞的夜和谁说话。

Di da di da di da di da,

To whom will she talk to in the lonely night?

滴答滴答滴答滴答,
伤心的泪儿谁来擦。

Di da di da di da di da,

Who will wipe away her tears of heartbreak?

滴答滴答滴答滴答,
整理好心情在出发。

Di da di da di da di da,

She must straighten out her feelings before for she sets out.

滴答滴答滴答滴答,
还会有人把你牵挂。

Di da di da di da di da,

Will there still be someone to worry about you?

04 9 / 2012

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I really wanted to post the whole chapter, but I’ve been super busy and classes are starting today, so I decided to post what I have translated on Chapter 7. I will add the last part I have yet to translate later.

I love, love, love this chapter. The little local god is hilarious, but Xu Feng’s jealousy is the real treat in this chapter. Poor Xu Feng, he is so overly protective of Jin Mi, but he is just realizing that he may not be the only one she goes to when she needs help. And the other contender is none other than Ren Yu, his older brother that he has been fighting against since he was young. What will our oblivious little Jin Mi do when she is caught in the cross-fire between these two Sons of Heaven?

Chapter 7 Part 1: Vinegar (Jealousy) Can Also Cause Drunkenness

“In life in this world, there are only four great pleasures – eating, drinking, whoring, and gambling.” The local god’s face was bright red, his tongue swollen, and he was holding a cup of wine in one hand and grasping my sleeve with the other. Appearing to have great confidence, he sincerely said to me: “But if we talk about the stuff in this cup, compared to Lian Guang Gong Zi’s secret family brew, the insignificant wine of the Mortal World, that is, that is what’s-its-name. Oh, that is like cat urine diluted with water, and is not presentable at all!”

I very leniently allowed him to tug at my sleeve, and modestly asked for advice with a smile: “Besides eating and drinking, I don’t know what kind of pleasures gambling and whoring are? This is Lian Guang’s first time here, and must ask this local god for some pointers.”

“Hehe!” The local god laughed shadily: “I’m not making this up. What’s so great about the Heavens? It’s just a bit duller and more desolate. High-brow art and literature is good, but how can it compare to the ready pleasures of earthly life? I am indebted to Lian Guang Gong Zi for coming to this minor god’s place as a guest, so of course this minor god will give you a host’s hospitality!”

While he was saying this, he took me by my hand and boldly said: “Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go. This minor god will take you to find pleasure!”

“I have troubled you.” I fisted my hands and straightened my hair. Completely carefree, I followed the local god outside.

During the half of a month that I’ve stayed in the Mortal World, Ren Yu Xian Guan goes on duty at night, and during the day, besides sleeping for a small while, most of his time was spent playing go, playing the zither, discussing poetry, and discussing the classics with me. He took care of me very well. But then, being taken care of too well also has some cons. Not being able to leave the courtyard day after day, gave me the illusion that I was still imprisoned in Shui Jing, only that I had moved to another place.

Xiao Yu Xian Guan warmly said to me: “There are many filthy things in the Mortal World which may tarnish Immortal Lady Jin Mi’s peaceful immortal core. Ren Yu cannot be absolved of that crime even if I die ten thousand times.”

Tarnish me! Tarnish me for now! As long as I can go out and play for a bit. Despite what my heart cried out, in front of Xiao Yu Xian Guan’s water-like and sincere gaze, everything finally turned into one phrase: “Ren Yu Xian Guan is right.”

The past few days, Xiao Yu Xian Guan has been very busy with some kind of official business, and during the day, he does not have the time to play go with me, so he could only ask the local god of wind and water to look after me. The local god respectfully accepted First Highness’s edict and came every day to present local delicacies to me. Some duck neck, dried salted duck, osmanthus duck, salt water duck… I was never picky about food, but did not have any great enmity with the ducks in the Bird Clan, so I asked the local god to change to something else, but the local god’s face was full of incredulity: “Lian Guang Gong Zi does not know, duck is the best dish to pair with wine. Sip on a little yellow rice wine, munch on a bit of osmanthus duck, and that is a content life, a content life!”

This little local god is an alcoholic, but his capacity for alcohol is not very good. Every time, he cannot drink more than ten or so jars, before his tongue becomes swollen. Unexpectedly, his words do not lessen, but he actually becomes even more garrulous, as if he was spilling the beans, he would tell one dirty joke after another.

I tried that yellow rice wine, and it tasted extremely bad. I don’t know how the little local god drinks that so happily. I really couldn’t watch as his ruined himself, so I specially used the osmanthus flowers in the courtyard to brew some wine for him, figuring that I could conveniently knock him unconscious, but this little local god had only drank one jar of osmanthus brew when his eyes began to droop, ready to answer any question. Oh, how lamentable.  Even in I drink twenty jars or caskets, I probably won’t be tipsy at all. In Shui Jing before, the other fairies were most afraid of drinking with me, and I couldn’t even find a companion who dared to drink with me, this is the so-called ‘it’s lonely on the top’.

Today, after I planned to knock that little local god unconscious, I had wanted to go out and explore a bit, but who would have known that he enthusiastically offered to take me around himself. I thought this was very good.

Then, that local god took advantage of the energy the wine lent him to take me around in circles until we reached the front of a small shop. The storefront just looked like a little fabric shop, but after entering the shop, the local god asked the shopkeeper: “How does the fresh fish sell here?”

That shopkeeper’s nostrils were assailed by his wine-heavy breath, and with great difficulty, he steadied his thoughts and carefully sized us up and down. He said: “These two young sirs, please come with me.”

I was inexplicably confused, but I followed the little shopkeeper to the inner courtyard and descended down a few levels of steps, entering into a basement. I then realized that it was an altogether different world, this basement was brightly lit, and no fewer than twenty square tables were arranged neatly. Four people were sitting at each table, each with a row of little numbered tofu pieces in front of them, seemingly to be racking their brains, while there were two or three spectators by their side.

“The stakes are higher, and there are more experts. If you want to gamble, you need to go to this underground gambling den to enjoy yourself thoroughly.” The local god said into my ear. After that, he asked the shopkeeper for a set of mahjong, which is the pieces of tofu, and after he roughly explained the rules to me once, he pulled two mortals to scrape a table together and officially start a game.

Two shichen [1] later, the gambling den’s guards threw the local god and I out onto the streets. “This young sir, we are a small business. We cannot withstand a mighty person like you messing around with us. I must ask you not to gate-crash us again.” In the end, the shopkeeper even bowed three times to me.

The little local god next to me gazed at me, his eyes full of adoration: “Lian Guang Gong Zi is very skilled! Excellent gambling skills! Is Lian Guang Gong Zi’s true form the God of Wealth, Guan Er Ye?”

I carefully recalled that Guan Er Ye who was ever redder than a jujube, and then compared him to my flawlessly white appearance. I really don’t look anything like that. This mahjong thing is not interesting at all. The so-called ‘playing against someone’ is only interesting when you win some and lose some, like when I play go against Xiao Yu Xian Guan. He eats three or five of my pieces, and I engulf five or six of his pieces. It is only interesting when we take turns fussing about who wins, unlike this mahjong, where whenever I need a certain piece, I would draw that piece. I won every game but only won some yellowish white things. This is not interesting at all, whatever, whatever.

I patted the lower hem of my robes and disinterestedly walked forward. The little local god carried the yellowish white things I won in his dalian [2] and swaggered behind me. Since I have tried out “gambling.” I might as well experience the last of the four pleasures the local god spoke about.

The local god led me to some place called “Wan Chun Lou” and immediately, the scent of rogue and face powders rushed to my head. After feeling dizzy for a moment, a older woman with bright colors smeared on her had already grabbed the local god and me, hold one in each hand: “Oh! Look at these two handsome young sirs. Please come in, please come in! Which girl would you two like to get to know?”

The local god was still dizzy from the wine and had walked quite a bit, so he panted as he conveniently tossed the dalian onto the table. With a mouth full of tea, he said: “For now, just call the best you have over.”

That woman swept her eyes over the open corner of the cloth dalian and immediately straightened. She shrilly shouted towards the upper level: “Mu Dan! Yue Gui! There are important guests!”

Lightning cleaved through my head and I looked blankly. First Flower Lady Mu Dan?!

I towed the little local god and rushed out the door, dashing about wildly. I did not know how far I ran, but when I did not see anyone riding a flower to grab me, I was then able to catch my breath.

Fortunately, I was able to react quickly! If the First Flower Lady captured me again, I don’t know how she’ll punish me. Very lucky, very lucky!

“Why did you do that, Lian Guang Gong Zi?” The little local god did not know the whole story, so he asked me rashly. Before I could open my mouth, he patted the back of his head and said, enlightened: “This minor immortal was careless, this minor immortal was careless. This minor immortal had forgotten what Lian Guang Gong Zi is fond of. I ought to be punished!”

Eh? What kind of things am I fond of?

The little local god did not give me a chance to explain and brought me to a place called “Nan Lou Xiao Guan.” The little courtyard by the door had various grapes and looked rather elegant. As I walked inside, I felt that something was wrong, but I could not figure out what was wrong, until the local god boldly tossed something golden onto the table and two gaudily dressed, but fair and delicate men cuddled up against me, one on my right and the other on my left. I then figured out why this place did not feel right.

Yes! I looked around, in this Nan Lou Xiao Guan, the couples hugging each other were all men with other men.

So this is a place for homosexuals to couple.

“Is Lian Guang Gong Zi pleased with these two young escorts?” The local god squinted happily, leaning against a round back, wooden armchair to drink tea. I heard the sound of his tongue tying into a knot, so apparently he was still drunk.

I drily swallowed my spit and said: “I am very pleased.”

Since I am here already, I might as well stay and make the best of it.

After composing myself, I did not know what to do next. It would not be good if I let others mock me for not being experienced. I turned my head and looked towards the curtain next door, but I only saw a man who looked like a butcher’s block use his folded fan to push up the chin of the young escort in his lap, and say with a smile: “Ying Ge, allow me [3] to dote on you a bit!”

I understand now!

But, I don’t have a fan in my hands, so what should I do? If I create a fan out of thin air, I’m afraid that I would scare most mortals to death, so, I conveniently grabbed a pair of chopsticks from the tea-table in front of me. I lightly raised the chin of the young escort leaning on my right arm and with a smile, I breathed in, preparing to say the words I had just learned. Who would have known that the young escort by my side feebly raised his head, his eyes staring fixedly behind me, with envy, admiration, shock, and desire.

“Jin Mi?!”

I raised my head, but I saw the Phoenix standing at the door, wearing green robes and riding boots. The expression on his face surpassed the six worlds and samsara, very mysterious.

I smiled at him: “What a coincidence, is Second Highness here to also seek pleasure?”

“Seek pleasure?!” The Phoenix repeated my words without even a ripple out of place, a cool and dry breeze swept over the nape of my neck: “I came to find you.”

In the grand hall, I don’t know what spell had been used on those mortals, but everyone was watching the Phoenix, dumbfounded. The butcher’s block behind the curtain next door swallowed his saliva and said: “The best product, oh, the best product! As startling as a heavenly person!”

Oh? I was surprised, I didn’t think that there would be such a knowledgeable person hiding himself in this marketplace of the mortal world right now. With just one glance, he could tell that the Phoenix was a “heavenly person,” I really underestimated this butcher block before.

I was then half-twisting my neck to talk to the Phoenix, which was quite strenuous, and I was just preparing to change positions when I saw that the Phoenix’s eyes stared at my right hand darkly. I followed his gaze and looked over, wah, no wonder my hand ached so much, it was from raising the chopsticks to push up the chin of that young escort.

The expression in the Phoenix’s eyes changed, and then, the chopsticks fell onto the floor with a ‘pa-la’. In an instant, a fire started, and shortly after, the area was full of flying ashes and smoldering smoke. The hems of the two young men who were near me also suddenly caught on fire, frightening the two of them into leaping up, perhaps to find a cup of water to put out the fire, but caught in unawares, they accidentally grabbed the cups of wine on the table, and with that cup, the fire thrived even more.

Gauze curtains, wooden chairs, bamboo tables… All the flammable things caught on fire within a few seconds, and only then did all the mortals in the main hall react: “Fire! Fire! Hurry! Run for your lives!”

In the vast sea of flames, amongst the crowd of screaming and shouting people who were scurrying around like rats, the Phoenix stared at me with flames flickering in his eyes, making me wonder if the brilliant raging flames were reflecting from the Phoenix’s eyes, or whether the Phoenix’s eyes ignited that blazing sea of flames.

Besides the Phoenix, only the local god and I had not moved from the hall. I did not move because this was an ordinary fire and could not injure me. Moreover, the Phoenix’s gaze was shooting directly at me, making me afraid to move. The local god did not move because he had seeming gone to the God of Dreams, but I don’t think half closing his eyes to feign sleep looked very genuine.

That fire spread very fast, and in a short while, the whole building was engulfed in flames. The Phoenix finally moved, and he quickly flew to pull me out of the sea of flames, while the local god chased after us and shouted: “Second Highness, fly a bit slower, fly a bit slower!”

“Demons! There are demons!” Two mortals held their heads and trembled.

The Phoenix put me down outside a bamboo grove, and I watched as dark clouds covered the area densely. After the rumble of muffled thunder rolled over, a torrential downpour began, and under the timely rain, the fire consuming the little building not too far away was extinguished.

Treading on bamboo leaves, an immortal being descended from the heavens. His black hair was half draped over his shoulders, his clothes were simple but elegant, and his expression was serene, his age was difficult to determine.

“If this minor deity had not arrived here by chance today, did the Fire Deity want to set the small building on fire and destroy a hundred-some lives?” Even though he did not have the Phoenix’s stature, that immortal being’s reproving gaze was quite awe-inspiring: “The Heavens are entrusted with protecting lives. Crickets and ants are still considered lives, cultivating is for saving the common masses from water and fire. By violating the immortal laws and using such cruel methods, the Fire Deity has wasted these ten thousand some years of cultivation!”

The Phoenix lowered his eyes, a drop of rain that had not been wiped away took this opportunity to fall down, sliding to the floor and a blossoming flower rose from that drop: ”The Water Deity’s admonishment is right. Xu Feng was wrong.”

I have followed the Phoenix for a hundred some years, but I have never seen him scared out of his wits and admitting he was wrong like this, I could not help but be surprised. Then, seeing how the Phoenix’s facial expression in the Nan Lou Xiao Guan just now, looking like he had wanted to skin me and break my bones, I thought that he anger was directed at me this time.

As such, I fisted my hands and bowed to that Water Deity, and self-consciously said: “The Water Deity is so polite. The Fire Deity was preparing to set me on fire just now, but he accidentally missed, and the flame set the place on fire. So, it’s not completely Second Highness’s fault.”

Even though I did not understand why the Phoenix became angry, but then he always had strange temper, so he never needed a reason to get angry. It’s also my fault as a target for not finding a good place to stand and obediently letting him start the fire, that’s why we caused trouble for others. Even though I, Jin Mi, do not have strong immortal powers, the quality of my person is quite good. Furthermore, I heard that now, the debtor is the master. I have not yet received my three hundred years of cultivation, so I must definitely keep him into a good mood.

The Phoenix raised his head, with a difficult expression in his eyes, he said: “Set you on fire? I might as well set myself on fire…” The sorrowful look in his eyes made it seem that he was the one who was almost roasted just now.

The Water Deity looked at me, with a bit of surprise, and after a while, peacefulness pervaded his eyes and he said to the Phoenix: “I hope the Fire Deity will take the matter today as a warning, this cannot happen again. Luckily, no one was wounded this time. Otherwise, for violating the laws of Heaven, obviously, there are Heavenly punishments!”

While he was saying this, Xiao Yu Xian Guan descended into the forest on starlight, and after he saw me, he leisurely tread on leaves and calmly landed on the ground.

“Ren Yu greets high deity, the Water Deity.” Xiao Yu Xian Guan bowed to the Water Deity, his manner respectful and reverent.

I just now remembered, this deity who was full of appearances, this deity that was full of words, and this deity who was full of expressions - this Water Deity is actually Xiao Yu Xian Guan’s future Mt. Tai. He truly is a weighty elder, no wonder Xiao Yu Xian Guan must respectfully call him “high deity.”

After hearing this, First Highness’s Mt. Tai merely gave a relaxed “mmm” sound in reply, the expression in his eyes was very empty. We three in front of him didn’t seem any different than that group of mortals in that little shop, he really is a deity with ample bearing.

Xiao Yu Xian Guan straightened his body, as if he was accustomed to this.

The Water Deity nodded at the Phoenix and Ren Yu Xian Guan, and still treading on a bamboo leaf, he flew away quietly.

The little local god heaved a sigh: “Today, I met the three most revered and respected Heavenly Deities together, this life is complete, complete!” When he spoke then, he drew Xiao Yu Xian Guan’s notice, who turned his head and gazed at him warmly. That little local god seemed to have sobered up and incompetently, he shivered and hid himself without being noticed.

“I wondered who it was.” The Phoenix cocked his eyebrow and half-closed his eyes: “So it was First Highness’s work. No wonder Xu Feng could not find her. What are First Highness’s intentions in hiding Jin Mi’s scent within this town by every means possible?”

Xiao Yu Xian Guan smiled: “Jin Mi is Ren Yu’s friend. She was imprisoned, so Ren Yu obviously must do his best to help her.” Xiao Yu Xian Guan really does hold friendship in high esteem, I sighed with admiration and gazed at him. He also gazed at me and said: “Though, why is Second Highness searching for a little flower fairy with such burning impatience like this?”

Pitter patter, the small flames in the Phoenix’s eyes glittered: “Everyone knows that First Highness lives in seclusion, and does not care about anything beyond his own surroundings. I did not know that your news in both the heavens and on earth is so thorough, you even know about Xu Feng’s every movement so clearly.”

“We are brothers, we should show loving concern for each other. How can you speak with such distance?” Xiao Yu Xian Guan contradicted.

“Oh? Since you say this, I think you are very clear on how the Flower World’s twenty-four Flower Ladies erroneously assumed that Xu Feng kidnapped Jin Mi and have wanted to make trouble in the Heavenly World. For what reason did your younger brother, I, shoulder this blame for First Highness?” The Phoenix’s voice flew past like chips of ice, and he continued to say: “First Highness took care of this friend, Jin Mi, very carefully indeed. Your care brought her to this utterly filthy male brothel!”

Wuyaya, the twenty-four Flower Ladies are looking for me again, I cannot let the Phoenix reveal where I am. I affectionately walked forward, interjecting: “I heard that eating, drinking, whoring and gambling are the four great pleasures in life. I brewed some osmanthus wine, why don’t the two Highnesses try some?”

That night, the moon was dark and wind was strong, getting drunk is a good option.

“Eating, drinking, whoring, and gambling! …” The Phoenix clenched his teeth: “Who taught you that?!”

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[1] Chinese: , measurement of time equal to about two hours.

[2] Chinese: , long, rectangular bag usually hung from the shoulder or waist.

[3] Here, he uses the word (ye), which is a form of address for an official or a wealthy person.