Monday, 10 February 2014

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost: Translations (Chapter 8.4 - The Elegant Tendrils)




      This is a faster update than usual and I want to give thanks for the support that have been given to the translations. I started this blog on 2 Dec 2013 after reading Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost and 3L3W: Ten Thousand Miles of Peach Blossoms and being all be-dazzled by the new shiny world of c-novels. It's been slightly more than 2 months and it's pretty amazing for me that there have been 10,000 page views, because I never really expected for people to read my small blog. It's really great to be able to share with people my views and joy over c-novels, since I don't know anyone in real life I can talk to about them.

   So, thank you and enjoy <3

  P.S. I'm saving some of the prettier images for the more dramatic chapters, and so have been posting paintings of flowers. Some are really lovely and I quite like this one - this is the osmanthus flowers that Jin Mi used to make wine.


Chapter 8.4: The Elegant Tendrils (Part 4 of 5) 

   Since the spell did not produce buns, I was a woman of my word, and treated Night to a small shop for breakfast. 

   Both of us changed our appearance, hid our immortal aura, and found a decent looking shop in the city. We picked a clean bench to sit on when we heard a voice from a neighbouring table, "Xiao Er (a nickname for shop assistants - literally "Little Two"), bring two or four buns."

    "Coming!" The shop assistant flicked a white towel on his back, and smoothly brought forward a plate of steaming buns. 

    I watched and learned immediately. However, as the "Xiao Er" was already called over to the neighbouring side, following this order, I loudly hit the table and shouted, "Xiao San (literally "Little Three" and a nickname for mistresses/third parties), menu please!"

   Suddenly, the whole shop fell silent. A deadly glare shot over from behind the bamboo shade on the right. I turned my head, and saw that two and three girls behind the shade, were glaring at me with hostility. 

   At a corner of the shop, someone broke out into laughter. 

   I turned and leaned close towards Night, and asked in a low voice, "Is it because I bypassed the order over them?"

   Night sipped a mouth of tea, and leaned towards me, he returned in a low voice, "This 'Xiao San' in the mortal world is a phrase used to scold people."

  As he said this, the old person behind the counter who was calculating on his abacus anxiously came forward with a menu, "This Master, the neighbouring table sits the three concubines of a very important and rich master in the city. They are gathering in my shop today. If you want anything, please order, but please don't ruin my shop!"

  Mortals are so strange, why can I call "Xiao Er" (Little Two), but not "Xiao San" (Little Three)?

  Since I did not want to calculate with them, I flipped opened the menu. The first dish was extremely shocking, it was called "Fruit Pancake". This caused the little heart of my fruit self to roll one round in the oil and shook my head repeatedly, "Too cruel! Too cruel!"

   Night looked over and smiled consolingly, "This fruit is not referring to real fruits, it is only dough, only fried dough. Do not be scared."

    Even so, this blood-soaked dish name caused my heart to turn in fear. I looked down and the next dish was called "Crab Meat Soup Bun". I love buns, so I ordered this dish and two bowls of soyabean milk. 

   In a flash, the shop assistant called "Xiao Er" came with a basket of steaming buns. I reached out for one, blew on it, and excitedly ate it.

  This really proved that mortals are unreliable and do not go by the book. As Fruit Pancakes did not have fruit, who knew that Crab Meat Soup Buns had soup inside? And, quite a bit of soup, the soup juice accurately leaked and squirted onto Night's robes.




   At a corner of the shop, a sound of laughter broke out. 
   
   I picked up my sleeve and wanted to wipe Night's robe, but he waved his hand and said, "It's fine. It's fine." A light flick of the robe and his robe immediately became new and clean again. 

  Night indeed is a generous and gentle god. Not only did he not blame me, he considerately picked up a soup bun, dabbed it with vinegar, and placed it on my plate. Thus, I safely ate the rest of the breakfast happily. 

   After the breakfast, Night brought me around the city. The night had turned dark when Night brought me back to the small courtyard, so that he could go to the birthday banquet. In all, the day had passed quietly and peacefully. 

   However, as good as Night is, there was one thing bad about him - even if he had to go to the birthday banquet, why did he have to put a boundary to trap me in the small house? This was very bad. 

   I pinched the boundary, and recounted one of the heart sutras Phoenix taught me, it seemed to contain a method to break the boundary. However, I did not know if my current cultivation would suffice to break Night's boundary. I chanted many different sutras, to break gold, to break wood, to break fire, to break earth --- but all were not effective. Only the breaking water enchantment was left, this looked hopeless. Deciding to try my luck, I silently chanted the breaking water enchantment, and suddenly a sharp light and "Hua La" sound rose, and the boundary vanished in a moment with water bubbles. 

   Not bad not bad! Gaining six hundred years of cultivation is truly not ordinary! I stepped out of the house, arranged my clothes, and prepared to go to the Heavenly Realms to check out the crowd. I called for a cloud at my feet, and then suddenly thought that with no one to lead me, I will likely only reach the Heavenly River when morning came. I decided to call for a soil god* to lead the way. 

   So I chanted an enchantment, and suddenly a person descended from the sky, narrowly crashing into me. Luckily, I dodged two steps back in time. 

   "Surprising, nowadays soil gods don't come from the soil?" I arranged my sleeve and lowered my head to see that my satin shoes had unknowingly been splattered with water stains. 

   The person opposite me broke out into laughter. This laughter was familiar and intimate. 

    I raised my head, the person was wearing a robe of green, he had a clear and brilliant gaze, indeed he was the laughing ("Pu Chi"-sounds of laughter) gentleman in the shop this morning. 

   I waved a hand at him, "Ah, so Master Pu Chi** is a soil god. Honoured to meet you!"

    Pu Chi! This person is truly cooperative, true to his name he broke out into laughter again, "Master Pu Chi, yes, this name is good. I like it! But I am not a soil god, but a water sprite from a jade water river outside this city. Why have this "Xiao Er" immortal summoned me here?"

Comments: Oooh, it's getting exciting. I cannot wait to reach the Heavenly Empress' birthday banquet!


*Local soil gods are usually summoned for directions as they are the gods governing the area and knows the place best. 

** Pu Chi refers to the sound of laughter, so Jin Mi named this water sprite "Master Pu Chi "since he keeps breaking out into laughter. 


10 comments:

  1. Ha! What a nice surprise when I found this update! It came sooner than I thought it would. I missed this entire section when listening to the audiobook, probably because I didn't understand the language very well. Now I finally understand why Jin Mi called the water sprite Master Pu Chi. And that whole Xiao San incident during breakfast was hilarious! I completely missed that while listening to the audiobook. Thank goodness for this translation.

    By the way, I listened to the audiobook for Two Ex-Husbands. I liked that story, too, though the audiobook was with only one reader, so it was boring. Besides, I don't like listening to a woman fake a guy's voice. Plus, it was difficult to follow for someone who can't understand the language very well. I then listened to the unfinished radiodrama for this story and loved it much more, since I loved the two male leads' voices.

    I completely agree that Two Ex-Husbands is a role-reversal for Ren Yu and Xu Feng in Heavy Sweetness! Two Ex-Husbands is sort of like the ending that would have happened if Jin Mi had loved Ren Yu instead of Xu Feng. I would love to have a discussion about Two Ex-Husbands, as I have conflicting feelings toward the two male leads, especially Pei Yan Zhen (spelling?). [SPOILER AHEAD] I was quite angry with Pei Yan Zhen almost throughout the entire novel until the end, when he cried until he became blind because he thought Miao Er was dead. Maybe we can discuss this story in another thread later.

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  2. Hey Melanie,

    Always glad to hear from you! I think I only caught 60-70% of the jokes the first time I read it because I wanted so intensely to know how it ends! Haha. So, re-reading the novel really added to my laughter because the author is so ingenious! I really like Master Pu Chi in the end, although I found him rather annoying at the start. Heh.

    [SPOILER] I know what you meant about the conflicting feelings! I had mixed feelings towards Pei Yan Zhen throughout the novel, even though I was also rooting for his happiness. I almost translated the novel instead of Heavy Sweetness but decided not to because there was a lack of impetus I guess (?) to make me want to re-read the novel again and again. I liked the part where he turned blind and she came back to take care of him --- and I super love the part where he proposed and gave up his empire for her love. This is Night getting a second chance - after he gains the throne, he is lucky enough to be able to give it up and have a chance with his love again. <3 But, I thought the other male lead wasn't characterised successfully though. He is def not a Phoenix.

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  3. Hey Melanie & Decembi,

    Shall comment here instead of the previous post.

    Yup I see the Two Ex-husbands as Dian Xian giving Night his happy ending. I think this is what would have happened if Night, Phoenix and Jin Mi were reincarnated into the human world. (Although San Gong Zi seems more flirtatious & nonsensical than Phoenix, the other two have quite similar characters to their mortal counterparts. But PYZ is slightly more manly in the story than Night *ahem*) Though I wonder why does the author make the Night/PYZ character the scheming type? Recently I just realized that Dian Xian wrote an epilogue for Night and maybe that gives insight into his actions. Father's sins are visited upon the sons and old sins leave long shadows maybe an apt description here. I didn't realise how dastardly the Heavenly Emperor was until I read that epilogue. I think after Night saw Jin Mi's dream where she and Phoenix were together, maybe he was reminded of what his father had done and how his mother and her fiancé suffered. So he thought that overcome this, he must stronger and become the Heavenly Emperor. So I blame the Heavenly Emperor for Night's predicament! (Haha ok only partly) Night still shouldn't have make use of Jin Mi no matter what. Plus tricking and inducing her to kill the man she loves was quite a low move.

    I'm abit puzzled by the timeline of things, maybe you can give me some insight. The Heavenly Emperor met Jin Mi's mother, the Flower Goddess when he was still the crown prince. Then possibly when the Flower Goddess wasn't around anymore, he saw Night's mother as a replacement but she reminded him of her. But I think Jin Mi is younger than both Night and Phoenix right? Also, the Water God didn't remember consummating his relationship with the Flower Goddess, so how and when was Jin Mi conceived?

    I started reading the novel again because of the discussion and I'm reminded of how funny the story is. Dian Xian has quite an amusing writing style. I think I saw in SSB that she wrote a third book but people commented that it's not good. Have you read it? What do you think of it?

    Cheers, May

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    Replies
    1. Hey May!

      OMG! Night's epilogue! Is this a recent one? Do you have a link? Or is it only available in the book form? Ooooh I want to read. I always thought the fact that [SPOILER] Jin Mi and Phoenix consummated their relationship would have been horrifying for Night and certainly don't blame him for not having romantic visions about Jin Mi after that.

      I will have to answer your question about the timeline after reading those parts again. Haha. I must confess that it's not clear in my memory whether he met Jin Mi's mother or Night's mother first. But, since [SPOILER] Jin Mi is not the Heavenly Emperor's daughter, when she is conceived does not naturally relate to those relationships - think Flower Goddess and Water God only got together v late. Plus, we don't know how long gods take to conceive! Haha. If i recall correctly, Flower Goddess got Water God vvv drunk haha. I need to re-read those parts to confirm.

      I didn't read the third one, which was written before Heavy Sweetness and Two Ex Husbands because apparently the female lead falls for a few male leads and it's all rather messy and heartless. I also generally dislike time-travelling type novels so I stayed clear of it! Haha. Have you read it?

      I find San Gong Zi vvv different from Phoenix besides the fact that they are popular flirtatious "play boy" types. I think there is a coldness and ruthlessness in Phoenix (which maybe only I subjectively see haha) that I don't see in San Gong Zi. Maybe Dian Xian has a weakness for these scheming types - they can be so smart, but in the end, always out-schemed by love. Haha!

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    2. Hey Decembi,

      I can't seem to find the place where I read the epilogue for Night! I thought it was on 19lou.com but I can't seem to find it. Tried to google again but it seems to have disappeared but I did see some comments on other websites that was Night epilogue but it's quite rare and also another website in which it seems that it was a fan who wrote the epilogue not Dian Xian. So i'm not too sure whether the one I read was the official one.

      From that epilogue, it seems that his mother was threatened into marrying the Heavenly Emperor even though she was going to be engaged Sea Prince. He threatened to exterminate their race and also poisoned the Sea Prince so that he couldn't fight back even though his wu gong was supposed to be good. So Night's mother had no choice but to give to herself who she doesn't love. Then one day apparently Phoenix mother came to insult her and also injured her fatally. With her dying breath, Night's mother gave him the love token that she shared with the Sea Prince and asked Night to look for him. So when the Sea Prince saw it, he realised that Night's mother still loved him after all these years. He told Night the truth of the Heavenly Emperor's actions. Night was well taken of by the Sea Prince and he gradually grew up under him. Then one day the fairy race had a war with the demon race and Night went to fight in the battle.

      The rest of the story is in this link: www.tieba.baidu.com/p/908335656

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    3. May! This is me giving you *RAINBOWS* (like the rainbow bridge Night was given) and a BIG HUG! Awww thank you for the link!

      I read the rest of the comments on the board and it's written by a fan. I guessed it also because the writing style is very un-like Dian Xian. But, omg it's written very well and I think the fan has real talent.

      My favourite line: 这个人我仿佛已经等了千年万年,我就这么看着她,仿佛看了一生一世。 (It was as if I had waited for this person for ten thousands of years, I just looked at her, as if I had looked at her for one life and eternity.)

      I can't really remember much of Night's mother, but I shall pay more attention this time in my translations. In my memory, I actually had this impression that Night's mother had actually loved the Heavenly Emperor but the Heavenly Emperor never loved her, and only treated her as a fling. :(

      I like to think that the Heavenly Empress wasn't always evil... but her heart turned cold after her political marriage with the Heavenly Emperor who never loved her back, and of course I find her v intriguing because of [SPOILER] master pu chi.

      Love this! Thank you.

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    4. Sorry I can't find the link that has the complete epilogue but this is the best one I could find. It's really quite touching - it ties up with the first encounter that Night had with Jin Mi. It may or may not be the official one but it's quite well written! Actually was quite teary at the end.

      Yup I think Heavenly Emperor met Jin Mi's mother first because there was an epilogue on that too. Did you read it? Also in the story, Phoenix mother mentioned that he only liked Night's mother because she reminded him of the Flower Goddess.

      There's quite a few other epilogues on when Jin Mi was still a "disciple" of Phoenix and also the married life of Phoenix and Jin Mi and their kids as well ! (They had one son and one daughter) Have you read them? Those are much easier to find. It seems that Jin Mi is doomed to suffer under Phoenix's overbearing ways :p Their son has more of the "water" character and the daughter has more of the "fiery" character.

      No I didn't read Dian Xian's third novel because it wasn't recommended on SSB! Yup Phoenix definitely conceals his inner ruthlessness, but I think that we can see that in how he treats Jin Mi sometimes :p Plus he must be quite driven to become the Demon Lord (? Haha not sure what is right translation) SGZ seems quite nonsensical at first (that way he talks gives me goosebumps !) but after that he can be quite ruthless as well when he takes over the throne to protect himself and his family.

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    5. Oooh I think we were typing at the same time! Thanks so much for the link. It's soooo good. I'm glad that someone loved Night enough to write him an epilogue. Heehee, I just finished a novel which was heartbreaking and it broke my heart so bad I wanted to go write my own epilogue for a character I loved too! I love that kind of impetus.

      Eh, I think I missed that epilogue! Gosh, maybe I need to go search properly. Oh, I read the epilogue Peanuts translated and also the one with Jin Mi still a disciple of Phoenix. I don't recall Jin Mi having a daughter. Shall go search for that one! Heehee. I love the water and fire clashes, makes that combination seem even more natural?

      Yeah, I don't recommend the third one! Read a few bad reviews on some chinese blogs too! She apparently has a short fourth one too (see: http://www.jjwxc.net/onebook.php?novelid=335627)! It's very sad because Dian Xian doesn't appear to be writing anymore :(. I followed her on weibo but she also did not update since last year June? I plan to order the book online so I can get the proper version! Haha

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    6. Oh, I also wanted to add that I super love the part where Phoenix becomes [SPOILER] a demon lord. I thought that was very cool. I thought SGZ was quite a good, smart and responsible guy despite his playboy exterior, but maybe it was harder to feel anything but sympathy for him for being too late in winning the female lead's heart.

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  4. Oops I accidentally signed out of the account but I forgot the login details.

    This it the link with the epilogues: http://www.douban.com/group/topic/17717486/
    I think it seems to be official one. The daughter epilogue is the last one so it's quite near the bottom. Lol, there's bound to be clashes because of the opposing elements. It's quite funny the way Jin Mi thinks but actually she's quite practical. Maybe the world would be a better place if we thought like Jin Mi? :p

    Yes I love Phoenix and Night equally I think. But Phoenix and Jin Mi make the better couple since there was no underhanded betrayal (ignoring the fact that Jin Mi tried to kill Phoenix :p )
    Night, my heart goes out to him. He's like a lonely little boy.

    If Dian Xian ever writes another one, hope it will be as well crafted as Heavy Sweetness or even Two Ex-Husbands. But I think it may be hard writing a fresh new story on the similar type of characters and also plot line (the betrayals, the realisation of the female lead that she wronged the one she loved) so maybe that's why she hasn't come out with a new one.

    Hope you enjoy the physical book! I prefer reading the actual book too. (sometimes I think all this late night reading squinting on the iPad is making my eyesight worse!)

    Somehow I don't feel as much for SGZ as I do for Phoenix, Night and PYZ. You're right about the lack of his characterization.

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