Monday, 31 March 2014

Sunday, 30 March 2014

#talk 8: Journey With The Phoenix/ The King is Here being published!

   I don't know if readers have noticed but I will usually update the side-bar with books I recommend, although I tend not to write anything for the 5 star novels. One of those is The King is Here (本王在此) by Jiu Lu Fei Xiang (九鹭非香). I really love this novel, the first third was one of the best I've ever read, the second third was pretty painful, but the last third made up for it such that I still gave it 5 stars.

  I was really excited to read the news that it's going to be published with epilogues in April! Woohoo. Count me in. I'm moving house actually, so I've not ordered any of the books I've been wanting to order. I need to get a proper book copy of Heavy Sweetness, and I will be getting this as well! It has been re-titled as Travelling with the Phoenix/Journey with the Phoenix, which is a pretty cute title, but I still like the original title, The King is Here, more and no, the King refers to the female lead and not the male lead. I know, how kick ass is the female lead? 

  The main reason I have not written any thing about it, besides the fact that I already have too much on my writing plate is because this is actually one of the few novels on the top of my wish-list for translations. I'm very tempted to translate this after I finish Heavy Sweetness (although that would still take a few more months) hence no news from me here. 

  Ok, that's all from me for now. My next update will be a Heavy Sweetness translation update. For those waiting for my update on The Pillow Book, I'm sorry but you will have to wait longer because I need more time to go re-read Book 2 (haha). 

  Till then! 

Saturday, 29 March 2014

The Emperor's Strategy (Original Title: The Tale of Su Ji's Coffin Shop) by Qing Yao (天子谋 (原名:苏记棺材谱)-青垚) : Scene 1

    Dear readers, thanks everyone for the super kind comments on my books reviews and translations! I know I should be spending more time translating Heavy Sweetness or Once Promised instead, haha, but it's nice to take a break sometimes and write about something new! Keeps the heart and perspective fresh. Treat these as little sweet snacks between the main meals. 

  So, basically, the Emperor's Strategy doesn't have a novel plotline or anything - everything kind of develops rather predictably, but the ride is enjoyable because Qing Yao writes as if her pen is on fire. 

  I've so many scenes I love with Su Li Li and the two male leads that I couldn't choose in the end just a few scenes to translate! So I'm going to translate some of my most favourite scenes for both leads, and hopefully entice more people to read the novel so they can gush along with me! *Squeals*

   As stated in my previous summary, the novel starts with Su Li Li finding Jiang Qiu Di extremely injured at the front of her coffin shop. She spends a large part of her savings to get a doctor to heal him.

  Scene 1: In which a name is given 

   After preparing a few delicious dishes, Su Li Li carried the bowl inside the small wooden hut. In the afternoon when the doctor had re-adjusted his bones, he had fainted. This person was extremely stubborn, biting his teeth till the death, but was unwilling to make any sounds, with a flick of his eyes he had fainted. Su Li Li was shocked and almost thought he really died. 

  Su Su Li placed the bowl down and sat at the bedside. She used her fingers to poke his forehead, "Oi, wake up."

  He didn't move, he seems to be dead asleep, the previous blood and mud stains had already been wiped cleaned from his face, he appeared young and a little immature, but his eyebrows were sharp and his lips thin, he had an upright nose bridge. Su Li Li thought in her heart, from his appearance, it looks like his hands can't do work, his shoulders can't carry burdens, but at least his looks are fine, maybe if he is sold to some place he can even be the top draw...

  Just as she was about to become immersed in her ridiculous daydreams, that person moved. Su Li Li quickly pushed his shoulders, "Quickly wake up, if you sleep any longer you will starve to death." As the person awoke, he lightly furrowed his brows and his eyes fell open, upon seeing Su Li LI, his expression became calm and cold again. 

  Su Li Li was very unhappy and scolded, "If it's pain, it's pain! Why must you pretend? You can be the hero that withstands until death, the strong man that starves to death! There is rice and vegetables here, if you have the capability, then don't eat, if not you will have to lower your stature!" She heavily knocked the bowl, carried it up and used chopsticks to pick up the food, the delicious aroma spread.

   He bit his teeth and stared at her. Su Li Li responded, "Do you want to eat?"

   After appearing to have put down something with great resolve, he lightly nodded his head once.

  Su Li Li broke into laughter, "If you keep glaring at me like that, I will not let you eat. Even if you hate me till you bite off your lips, you will still starve to death."

  His gaze lowered and he no longer looked at her, only looking at the ends of the bed. His willingness to lower his head now made him look even more helpless than his cold expression earlier. Su Li Li's heart softened and she carried him up, but her mouth muttered, "Only now you know how to lower your head, earlier only asking to be scolded." After placing the pillows behind him carefully, letting him lean halfway comfortably, she carried the bowl up and fed him the dishes one by one with her chopsticks.

  The tofu would melt in the mouth immediately, her green vegetables were cut finely, they did not need much effort to be swallowed. The person silently ate, his expression no longer fierce, but was exceptionally silent. After Su Li Li finished feeding him, she put the bowl down, and passed him a handkerchief to wipe. She then passed him water to drink. After he finished, she asked, "What is your name?"

Thursday, 27 March 2014

The Emperor's Strategy (Original Title: The Tale of Su Ji's Coffin Shop) by Qing Yao (天子谋 (原名:苏记棺材谱)-青垚) - Synopsis + Review (HE) - 4 to 4.5 stars

    The Emperor's Strategy was 15th on the list Peanuts posted of the top 50 most influential c-novels. Most readers actually prefer the book's original title, The Tale of Su Ji's Coffin Shop, which sounds morbid I know, but is actually perfect. I haven't read a new c-novel that I liked so much, so I decided to write more about this because if you can read Chinese, this is one novel to savour. I think Lost You Forever fans might also be intrigued because the two male leads, 江秋镝 (Jiang Qiu Di) alter ego 木头 (Woodblock/Mu Tou) resembles Jing and 祁凤翔 (Qi Feng Xiang) resembles a combination of Zhuan Xu and Xiang Liu.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Once Promised (曾许诺)by Tong Hua(桐华): Summary and Scene Translation for Chapter 6 (Part 2)

  xia0yuer suggested Ariel Lin for A'Heng and I thought that was quite suitable! This chapter is one for the Shao Hao fans. 

Chapter 6: Unfulfilled Intentions Beneath the Tree, All Those Years Ago (Part 2)

    Shao Hao's voice was gentle as the wind and suddenly all the people rolling on the floor felt that their headache had disappeared. 

   Shao Hao already had a legendary reputation since he singlehandedly forced back the Shen Nong army one thousand and nine hundred years ago, so the whole mountain fell silent for him. 

  The Emperor Mother softened her voice and asked why Shao Hao had arrived. Shao Hao said he was here for his fiancee, Xuan Yuan Ba who has been imprisoned on Jade Mountain. So the Emperor Mother invited Shao Hao in. A dashing man in white robes arrived, his composure dignified, his smiling gaze sweeping pass the throngs of watching gods. 

  The Emperor Mother was silently surprised at Shao Hao's extraordinary demeanour. The Emperor Mother tells Shao Hao to come back sixty years later since he should know why she has grounded his fiancee. Shao Hao says that Xuan Yuan Ba was in the wrong for offending Jade Mountain's honour, but she was only playful and since the Emperor Mother did not find the stolen item on her, who is to prove that she was the thief? Shao Hao says that his fiancee's wrong is his wrong, so he suggests that if Shao Hao is proven wrong, he is willing to shoulder half of Xuan Yuan Ba's imprisonment. He asks the Emperor Mother to immediately release Xuan Yuan Ba, and if it is proven that Xuan Yuan Ba took the item, he will return the item and do one thing for the Jade Mountain with no conditions.

  Everyone was stunned by Shao Hao's words, because no matter how precious the item, Shao Hao's promise should be sufficient. The Emperor Mother asked what will happen if she does not accept his suggestion and Shao Hao said he will then stay on Jade Mountain until Xuan Yuan Ba can come down. The Emperor Mother's hand trembled, if it was any other man, she would have used force and sent him down the mountain, but as this was Gao Xing's Shao Hao she was not confident that she was capable of doing so.

  After a while, the Emperor Mother agreed and said he could bring Xuan Yuan Ba down. She ordered her servants to tell Xuan Yuan Ba to pack her luggage to leave.


  Xi Ling Heng was stunned in a moment and then decided she must rush back before the Emperor Mother realised she was missing. Chi You was staring at her with a fierce cold gaze, his gaze full of shock, suspicion, anger, and also a little hope, as if hoping she will tell him, she was not Xuan Yuan Ba, she was only Xi Ling Heng. 

  Xi Ling Heng did not know why but she felt a soft piercing pain in her heart. She wanted to explain, but finally she strengthlessly closed her mouth and deeply bowed her head in apology.

  Xi Ling Heng reached out her hand to open the curtains, but the curtains was closed by a green vine, the vine bound her hands, she wanted to push it away but it held her tightly and refused to let her go.

  But she needed to return before the maidservants, so she forcefully tried to rescue her hands, and also raised her head to watch Chi You. Chi You's face whitened, his body stiffened, there was no expression on his face, only his two eyes deathly staring at her.

  Xi Ling Heng tightly bit her lips and forcefully pulled back her hands, the twine bound tighter and tighter, seeing the time before her disappearing, Xi Ling Heng bit her teeth, waved her palm like a knife, and broke the twine, jumped down the jade carriage, and walked towards Shao Hao.

  Shao Hao looked at her, lightly smiled and quickly rushed towards her, "A'Heng, I am Shao Hao."

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Once Promised (曾许诺)by Tong Hua(桐华): Summary and Scene Translation for Chapter 6 (Part 1)

   Hello dear readers of Once Promised, xia0yuer has started translating Chapter 6 and she has decided because every scene is so important to the novel that she will do full translations. However, she can't predict how long she will take for each chapter since the chapters are so long, so it's hard for us to do the round-robin translations. We have decided that she will translate Once Promised, while I will continue my style of summarising and translating. But, readers interested in reading the full glory of Once Promised can head to her side for more details afterwards. 

  So, I will be returning to my weekly "recaps" of Once Promised haha. I'm actually halfway through Chapter 7, so I had to bounce back to Chapter 6. Chapter 6 is one of my favourite chapters in Book 1 because you get Chi You, A'Heng and Shao Hao all in one chapter. It's pretty epic and probably marks a turning point in all their relationships. 

  Hu Ge looks so good in his soon to be broadcasted Nirvana Fire drama (the original c-novel is actually on my reading list and I may bounce it up if the drama is reallllyyy good) and in my mind's eye, he is Shao Hao.

Like Maira at SSB's Lost You Forever, I've actually started reading up on the inspiration of each of Tong Hua's chapter titles. The chinese title of Chapter 6 is 《辜负当年林下意》, which xia0yuer has translated as "Unfulfilled Intentions Beneath The Tree, All Those Years Ago". The chinese title is probably inspired by this chinese poem, 《满江红·怀子由作》 which goes, 孤负当年林下意,对床夜雨听萧瑟,  "孤负" (gu fu) and “辜负" (gu fu) actually have the same sound and meaning, which is to wrong or not live up to a promise you had given to someone. Though, the connotation of 孤 is also alone. Literally, the line speaks of not being able to fulfill a promise you had given to someone, such that alone in your bed, reminiscing this past promise, even the night rain sounds desolate. 

  My chinese competency is limited so I can't say I fully understand the whole poem, but the emotion and scenes it evokes makes one see a white-haired person thinking of his or her promise to his once lover.... and feeling immensely alone. The whole poem is actually very sad, as the person recollects about all the memories between the two, and cries alas that they have always been separated... but then the person softly rejoices because it seems that they will be reunited soon (although when I read it, the implication seems to be a reunion in the afterlife but some suggest that the person is going to retire back to his hometown hence the reunion. I suppose that's the beauty of poetry, full of interpretations?).  We can discuss why Tong Hua chooses this title after you read the chapter :) 

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost: Translation (Chapter 10.3: The Great Phoenix Feather Treasure)

     This is one of the best Phoenix and Jin Mi parts in the story! Enjoy <3

Chapter 10.3: The Great Phoenix Feather Treasure (Part 3 of 5) 

  "Next time? There will still be a next time?!" Phoenix's face was actually warming up, but after hearing the second half of my words his face started to darken again.

  "No, no, there will not be a next time. Whatever you say will be, I will only listen to you, alright?" I spoke in a very cooperative manner to him. Phoenix is quite stingy, I only took three hundred years more of cultivation from him, but he was so angry that he ran away from the banquet to come down to the mortal world. Who knows if he will arrest me for the Heavenly Empress, and bring me back to the Heavenly Realm...

  Thinking of this, I shook and trembled.

  "Is it very painful?" I felt a heat on my hand, turns out Phoenix held my injured hand and used his other hand to hold a golden needle to pluck out the wooden thorns out of my palm one by one.

  Phoenix's eyelashes lowered, and concentrated on my hand. The hairs at his side were blown by the wind, lightly lifting up, then lightly flowing down, brushing passed my palm, tracing threads of ticklishness that itched at my heart*.

  My hands had only a few cuts, at the beginning it only hurt a little, but now it didn't hurt so much, but I said in a very obedient way, "Very pain very pain..." Even I didn't know why I was lying to him, just like how I didn't know why he didn't use his powers, but chose to use such an effortful way to remove the thorns.

  Phoenix heard this and his brows furrowed. He lifted his head to look at me and hit right into my curious gaze, in that moment a glow shone through Phoenix's eyes.

  His grip on my hand tightened, his eyes suddenly closed and he turned aside, his expression dimmed, he said hoarsely, "I was too harsh, I wanted to punish you, but I didn't think... and only punished myself in the end."

  Ah? It was clearly my hand that got injured, why does this bird say he punished himself? How unfair.

  I fearfully asked him, "You won't catch me to be destroyed by the Heavenly Empress right?"

  Phoenix looked at the blood stains on his sleeves and said, "In all the realms, there is only one Great Phoenix Feather Treasure, but I left it for you. Don't you understand?" His expression paled again, with a few strands of dejection, "Even though we are doomed to never be..."

  I squeezed the Phoenix feather in my sleeve, who knew that this was such a precious feather, thankfully I didn't throw it away.

  Having received such a treasure, I was extremely pleased, and went over and lightly pecked Phoenix's lips. Having realised that male gods liked mutual cultivation just like what the Moon God said, since Phoenix gave me such a precious gift, and I didn't have anything to return, it would be a bit rude, so I gave him some mutual cultivation.

  Who knew that Phoenix froze and his cheeks started to redden, but suddenly his expression became downcast, and as before, he held my shoulders and pushed me away at arm's length, then painfully turned his back on me and faced the mountain cliff. The mountain breeze blowing at his robes, he had a feeling of desolation.

  Seeing Phoenix like this, I had a sudden inspiration, "I know, actually you don't like me..."

  Before I could finish, Phoenix suddenly turned around and said, "How can I not like you!" Completely interrupting my "I know, actually you don't like me to mutually cultivate with you?" into half. Alas, alas.

  But after reflecting on Phoenix's words, he says he likes me, he likes me! He likes me? He likes me......

Friday, 21 March 2014

#talk 7: Lost You Forever & Three Classical Male Leads in C-Novels

   After I read the Crazy Adventures of Wu Gate (see side bar for review), I had wanted to write more about some of the famous male archetypes in C-novels. I just finished The Emperor's Strategy (天子谋), and it made me think of Lost You Forever a lot, though I haven't checked the chronology, I really doubt that it was inspired by Lost You Forever, and more likely that these novelists cleverly use their favourite male archetypes in new and original ways.

  I will be writing more about the Emperor's Strategy soon (I can hear peanuts telling me to post the synopsis on SSB haha) on this blog, but first, let me share about three famous male archetypes!

  The first real three male leads c-novel I read was the Crazy Adventures of Wu Gate, and it's pretty apt that this novel has 3 books just like how Lost You Forever has three books! Each book in the Crazy Adventures of Wu Gate then becomes dedicated to one particular male lead, although in Crazy Adventures of Wu Gate, it was pretty clearly who was the first male lead (and yet he didn't get the girl, despite breaking her heart, alas).

  So, if you see the above picture, I would say the leftmost is Yuan Shi Qiong, the middle is Lu Zi Zheng and the right is Prince Duan Yu. The author, Qing Zhao, stated in her weibo that Lu Zi Zheng is the best lover, Prince Duan Yu is the first love and Yuan Shi Qiong is the husband. And, I thought that was quite the perfect description - so don't be too sad if your male lead doesn't get the girl in the end, perhaps their love was just meant to be exactly that way.

  But, after reading quite a few c-novels, I would classify the Three Classical Male Leads as (1) The Brother, (2) The Husband and (3) The Lover.

  I would use Lost You Forever as the best example of this (holy) Love Trinity. Please don't read this unless you want to be spoiled!

  (1) The Brother

    In Lost You Forever, the brother is Zhuan Xu. The person who had always looked after you perhaps in your childhood, or in your weakest most formative years. Some may argue that he could be the first love too - I haven't read the childhood parts in Book 2 of Once Promised so I can't fully judge. I personally prefer Xiao Yao's love for Zhuan Xu to be completely platonic - it's the kind of love you give without wanting to receive. To meet someone and feel that person is your blood and kin, more important than yourself, who understands exactly where you come from, who is basically your root. I think in Xiao Yao's memories, wherever she starts, wherever she begins, it's Zhuan Xu.

   Even when Zhuan Xu committed the unforgivable sin, to have become the person she should hate most in the world, it's not that Xiao Yao cannot forgive him, but she cannot forgive herself for not being able to truly hate him. His hands are her hands, his sins are her sins.

  My favourite image of Zhuan Xu and Xiao Yao is with Zhuan Xu pushing Xiao Yao on the swing surrounded by phoenix flowers. Ah, to be young again, perhaps that is the purest of feelings. But, perhaps that is so pure, that you can't taint it with anything else - I can help you with all your ambitions, but I cannot be your ambition. I can only always be your younger sister.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost: Translation (Chapter 10.2: The Great Phoenix Feather Treasure)

   Dear readers of Heavy Sweetness, thanks for your support! Haha, it makes translating that much more fun to think about what will be people's reactions to the story! Some interesting tidbits are revealed in this portion. 

  Enjoy <3

Chapter 10.2: The Great Phoenix Feather Treasure (Part 2 of 5)

   I concernedly looked at Master Pu Chi's expression and considerately asked, "Oh, I remember that I had earlier seen a snake, I'm afraid Master Pu Chi had been scared out of your wits?"

  "That snake is my real self.*" The magnificent Master Pu Chi proudly revealed a shocking truth, "I didn't know that Immortal Jin MI would have been so struck by my beauty as to be alarmed, I am ashamed, ashamed."

  Not alarmed by his beauty, but alarmed by horror as I jumped a step behind, and said imposingly, "You! Don't come over! I am sour, unripe and immature, don't eat me..."

  Master Pu Chi was dazed for a moment then took a step closer to me. I trembled and closed my eyes.

  Master Pu Chi picked up a stray hair from my forehead and sniffed it under his nose, he said intoxicatingly, "Relax, I, Yan You, have always only robbed beauty and not lives." Master Pu Chi steadfastly glanced at me, "What more Immortal Jin is such a beautiful grape, to eat it is a waste, it is better to keep it to give birth to babies."

  Give birth to babies?

  Ah, this I know, the Moon God said that after the male and female mutually cultivated, a baby will be born. Thus, Master Pu Chi wanted to mutually cultivate with me, but he said it in such a convoluted way that I could not understand.

  I carefully examined Master Pu Chi and swiftly said, "I do not want to give birth to babies with you."

  Master Pu Chi froze then said dejectedly, "My weak heart..."

  "Mutual cultivation is enough, why give birth to babies?" I became confused, I have only heard of mutual cultivation increasing divine strength, but never heard that giving birth to babies will increase divine strength.

  Master Pu Chi paused again, then asked softly, "Immortal Jin Mi's meaning is that if we don't give birth to babies, you agree to mutually cultivate with me?"

  I reflected for a moment then looked at Master Pu Chi's swift and agile figure, his divine strength should be greater than me, if I mutually cultivated with him perhaps my own strength will increase, I nodded and said, "Yes."

  Hearing this, Master Pu Chi emotionally grabbed my hand and declared triumphantly, "Then, let's go and mutually cultivate!"

  To have a snake hold my hand, I was extremely uncomfortable, so as I was going to take back my hand, I heard an icy cold voice come from the back of my head, "I've only heard of Gentleman Yan You being sick of being a god so he came to the mortal world to be a sprite, but who knew he didn't even want to be a sprite, and was thinking of incinerating into ashes?"

   Phoenix materialised out of thin air and appeared in between us. He furrowed his thick brows and his eyes lightly swept over Master Pu Chi's tight grasp over my hand, his face was expressionless, but even his hair was shrouded in a frosty air.

   Based on my experience in the last hundreds of years, this mercurial bird was not happy again. I immediately obediently gave him a smile, but who knew he returned me a cool gaze instead.

  Master Pu Chi held my hand tightly and shook out his robes, "Presently, Yan You is neither a god nor a demon, belonging to none of the six realms, with no obligations and no responsibilities, in what name will Phoenix incinerate me into ashes?"

  Phoenix coldly smiled, a glittering gold light in his palm, he said with no haste, "Based on my divine strength, I do not need any name, to incinerate Gentleman Yan You is but a mere lift of my arm."

  Before he finished, the bubbles flowing in the stream burst, the water of the temperature started rising and started to boil, the surrounding carefree multi-coloured fishes started to flip over to reveal their white bellies.

  Master Pu Chi shook all over and then pouted his mouth in grievance, "Violence! Violence! To think such a despicable person has been produced from the Heavenly Realms! You dare threaten me!"

Monday, 17 March 2014

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost: Translation (Chapter 10.1: The Great Phoenix Feather Treasure)

   Just came back from a close friend's wedding and I feel immensely satisfied and touched --- I always get moved by what I see as fundamentally a simple and yet difficult promise, to have and to hold from this day forth. So, in celebration of all kinds of love, here's the start of Chapter 10 of Heavy Sweetness!

Chapter 10.1: The Great Phoenix Feather Treasure  (Part 1 of 5)

   "What did you say?!" Two sharp rays shot out of the Heavenly Empress' eyes as she fiercely cried.

  How fierce! All I wanted was to test the peacock goddess a little, why is the Heavenly Empress, in all her seniority, so affected? I innocently replied, "Nothing really, all I wanted was to learn from the peacock goddess the trick of cultivation so that I can improve myself in future."

  "You... I never..." The peacock goddess' face was all red, but compared to his second highness, some noises came out of his open mouth but it was not clear what he was trying to say.

  Phoenix's face was also completely red and one wonders what he had in his mouth, because both of his eyes were watering and he looked very pitiful. I kindly passed him some tea, "Your second highness, please drink some water to moisten your throat." Who knew that after what I said, he started to cough more seriously.

  "You wild spirit, how dare you say such nonsense in this palace hall! How dare you try and taint the prestige of my Heavenly family!" The Heavenly Empress slammed the table with one palm, and agitatedly rose, "Thunder God! Lightning Goddess!"

  A male god as black as charcoal and a female goddess who was shining all over came from outside the two rows of palace guards.

  "Drag out this little demoness!" The Heavenly Empress coldly ordered, "Destroy!"

   I was alarmed, this Heavenly Empress is a little too vicious, when everything was going well she suddenly called for the Thunder God and Lightning Mother to strike me dead!

  "Wait!" Phoenix raised his hand and blocked me from the front, but the sound was composed of five strong voices. At this point when my life wavered between salvation and death, I identified these voices - they came from the Heavenly Emperor, the Water God, Night, the Moon God and Phoenix.

  "Today is Mother Goddess' Birthday Banquet, the whole realm joins in celebration, to easily destroy a life is not very appropriate, I ask Mother Goddess to reflect three times!" Phoenix no longer choked but very smoothly rose and bowed towards the Heavenly Empress. It's rare for this mercurial person who changed moods quickly to speak up for me.

  "My son speaks wisely. Immortal Jin Mi comes from the Flower World, she must not know the ways of the outside world, the unknowing has no sin," the Heavenly Emperor echoed. To think that this old man also has a kind heart.

  "The Heavenly Realms has its heavenly rules, the ground has its ground laws. Without rules, where is the harmony? Today, this little demoness insults the prestige of the Heavenly family, taints our pride, how can we let this be!" The Heavenly Empress' nostrils lightly shook, looking at Phoenix and the Heavenly Emperor, it appeared the Heavenly Empress' temper was not light, but although angry, she also did not dare to speak lightly, "Even if she can escape death, how can we pardon life imprisonment!"

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Once Promised (曾许诺)by Tong Hua(桐华): Translation for Chapter 5 (Part 2)

   Xia0yuer (her tumblr) and I will be collaborating to translate Once Promised together! We are still working out the arrangements, but I will be translating/summarising the odd chapters and she will be in charge of the even chapters. Tentatively, we will post the translations on our blogs, and after a week, we will then post each other's translation on our blog and then update with the next chapter (eg, I post chapter 5 now, a week later, xia0yuer will post my chapter 5 on her blog and then update with her chapter 6, after a week, I will post her chapter 6 on my blog then update with my chapter 7, and so on and so forth). I will make an announcement each time a chapter is updated here! I hope you will support both of us! :)

  I have not made Once Promised an official project previously because I was very apprehensive about the length. It consist of 2 books and 34 chapters! But, since xia0yuer has come on board, I do think that between the two of us, we should be able to finish the entire 2 books. I will still be following my previous style of a mix of summarising and translating :).

  Since my Once Promised workload is now halved (haha), I shall also give more focus on Heavy Sweetness so do expect more updates! <3

 Part 2 of Chapter 5 has lots of quiet beauty and plants a lot of threads that will blossom later. I've decided to translate the whole of part 2.

Chapter 5: Short Letter Long Love, Feelings Cannot Be Mailed (Part 2)

    To prepare for the Peach Banquet, the Emperor Mother created a lot of puppet maidservants to do chores and the palace became lively again.

   Xi Ling Heng thought it was interesting and wanted to learn how to make puppets. The Emperor Mother taught her, first you must give a bit of your internal energy so that the puppet will come alive then use your divine power to control it to do things. It was not difficult to make a puppet but to control it was extremely difficult. Even with the Emperor Mother's power, without the fertile divine essence on Jade Mountain, and the fact that these puppets served a person closely, it would be very difficult for her to control so many puppets.

  The Emperor Mother teased Xi Ling Heng, "Soon you won't have to write letters anymore, you can speak in person, aren't you happy?"

  Xi Ling Heng was surprised into a daze, as if happy, as if sad, she lowered her head.

  The Emperor Mother shook her head and laughed.

  Xi Ling Heng suddenly raised her head and asked, "The previous Emperor Mother did not hold peach banquets, this started with you. Every thirty years you put so much effort in holding one peach banquet, the god or demon you wanted to see... did he come?"

  The Emperor Mother's face changed, the wooden puppets in her hand fell to the floor, the maidservants holding tea in the hall crumbled to dust.

  "Don't think just because I speak nicely to you, you forget what this place is, be careful I ground you for another one hundred and twenty years!"

  Angrily, the Emperor Mother swept up her sleeves and left. Xi Ling Heng secretly smiled at Ah Bi, "Why do I suddenly feel I like this old demoness?"

  When the peach banquet begun, the heroes from all over came as expected.

  Xi Ling Heng was extremely happy, because the representative of the Xuan Yuan Tribe was her fourth brother Chang Yi*. Actually since Chang Yi came the last time, he should not have been able to come again this time, but he must have fought for the opportunity from her father to come to Jade Mountain because of her.

  But, only Gong Gong** arrived from the Sheng Nong tribe.

  Gong Gong apologised to Emperor Mother, "The second princess is sick and the Yan Emperor is extremely depressed and fell ill. All the officials do not dare to leave, so only I have come."

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Once Promised (曾许诺)by Tong Hua(桐华): Summary and Scene Translation for Chapter 5 (Part 1)

   Dear Readers, perhaps xia0yuer and I have some strange karmic connection in our past lives, as you know, I took over her Heavy Sweetness translations halfway when she disappeared... and now she's back! She's offered to share the translating burden of Once Promised! We are still working things out, but *cross fingers* because that means you will get Once Promised so much faster and better (since she translates amazingly well).

   Heavy Sweetness fans will probably rejoice, because that gives me more time to translate faster as well! My workload is increasingly getting heavier so I think this will all hopefully work out for the best. The translation community has gotten so vibrant of late due to the Lost You Forever fever, and i hope this brings lots more great c-novels to the english community :). I dream of sharing so many more c-novels!!!

  Ok, so back to chapter 5. The famous winged fox Ah Bi and the white swallow Lie Yang appears in this chapter! I love Ah Bi. He is one of my most favourite characters - too lovable.

  I think I will summarise the first part and translate the second part. The chapter title is soooo romantic. I think it's my favourite in all the series. My summaries are semi-translations if you noticed haha, I basically almost translate it word for word but skip descriptors and some dialogues.

Chapter 5: Short Letter Long Love, Feelings Cannot Be Mailed (Part 1)

  After the Peach Banquet ended, all the guests left and there were no more puppet maidservants. Even the real maidservants were rare and the Jade Mountain became very quiet. The desolate and lonely Jade Mountain - this was its real face. Not even the thousand miles of peach blossom flowers could hide the emptiness.

  Xi Ling Heng realises why the Emperor Mother has a peach banquet every thirty years. It's too lonely and boring on Jade Mountain! As she starts to get frustrated about how long 120 years will be on Jade Mountain, Chi You sends a weak winged fox (It's called bibi in chinese, hence his name becomes Ah Bi. He is a legendary creature.) to Xi Ling Heng. The poor baby fox's mother died in battle and with its last breath she tore the baby fox out of her stomach. Chi You saved it and sent it to A'Heng.

   A'Heng carried the fox to the Emperor Mother but she said coldly, "These are noble and proud creatures that are very hard to rear - he won't live."

   So A'Heng feeds the peaches and jade bone marrow to the baby winged fox. As these peaches and jade bone marrow contain lots of divine essence, if one cannot swallow it, one will die. So the baby winged fox start to bloat and scratches A'Heng, it then bites and drinks her blood, which actually lessens its pain.*

   The Emperor Mother shakes her head, the silly creature has its own lucky fate. Clumsily and unintentionally, it has found its lifeline!

  So every day, A'Heng feeds it peaches, jade bone marrow and her blood. It starts to grow extra strong with especially different and defined wings! After a year, the winged fox is as big as a cat and A'Heng names it Ah Bi. Ah Bi is very special - the winged fox cannot actually fly, but Ah Bi can fly! Every day, A'Heng plays with Ah Bi and waits for a letter.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost: Translations (Chapter 9.5: The Heavenly Empress' Birthday Banquet)

   Double update! I thought it was about time we wrap up the birthday banquet and get the story along haha. I also felt a bit bad as I toggle between Once Promised and Heavy Sweetness - it's like Ah Nian and Xiao Yao, you are the father of two children and you don't want to play favouritism to either! 

  Some answers to queries I have had: 
    (a) The book version has 24 chapters, the ending and epilogues. The internet version does not have the chapters collated yet into 24 chapters and are updated exactly like my updates - there's 68 chapters, the ending and epilogues. We are now at chapter 29 of 68, so slightly more than 1/3 and will soon be at the half-way mark. I'm following the book version posted online for as much as I can, and will be ordering the real book.
   (b) Why are they shocked to see Jin Mi? Jin Mi is the splitting image of her mother, the Flower Goddess, who passed away 4000-5000 years ago. She also infamously hates the Heavenly Emperor and the Heavenly Realms so it would be pretty much impossible for her to attend the Heavenly Empress' Birthday Banquet.

Chapter 9.5: The Heavenly Empress' Birthday Banquet (Part 5 of 5)

   "It's so tiring to speak while standing up, " The Moon God moved forward and whispered towards the Heavenly Emperor and Heavenly Empress, "Sister-in-law's heart in finding a wife for Phoenix, I can also understand, but this lady has a thin skin, one must speak carefully, understand?"

  Not caring about the strange looks on the Heavenly Emperor and Heavenly Empress, the Moon God happily pulled me towards the seat between Phoenix and Night to sit.

  Since I can finally sit down again, I was happy and smiled as I sat comfortably, I smiled at Phoenix, then smiled at Night.

  After this round of smiles, I felt that the surrounding was not right, minus the concerned and suspicious glances from the Heavenly Emperor, Heavenly Empress and Water God, all the male gods were looking at me as if they were intoxicated, while the female gods were looking at me angrily until I felt that I had thorns all over my body. Phoenix coldly gave a huff and waved his sleeve, while Night placed his tea cup on the table.

   "May all the gods not be too polite, today I have prepared wine and dishes, may everyone fully enjoy them," The Heavenly Empress said pleasantly and broke the strange atmosphere in the palace.

  Someone graciously lifted up a wine cup to the Heavenly Empress, "The bird tribe wishes the Heavenly Empress a long and prosperous life!" All the bird gods raised their cups towards the Heavenly Empress. The peacock goddess waved her hands and two brilliant five-coloured birds flew from outside the palace and flew one round around the palace peak - all the wooden birds from the carvings immediately came to life, and danced with the five-coloured birds. In one moment, the palace hall was filled with vigour and life. The five coloured birds then stretched their wings and flew towards the front of the Heavenly Emperor and Heavenly Empress, something fell from their beaks, it was a couplet.

    The peacock goddess elegantly read out the couplet.*

     "Good, good, good. Truly a filial girl!" The Heavenly Empress nodded her head and was extremely satisfied. She turned to the Heavenly Emperor and said, "No wonder in the mortal world, they all say daughters are close to the heart, I think this is very true. If Phoenix is half of Sui He, I will be content."

   The Heavenly Emperor nodded his head in agreement, but his heart did not seem to be in it.

   The Heavenly Empress turned again to the peacock goddess and said, "Sui He, you must come to the Heavenly Realms more often, we were after all once from the same tribe."

  The peacock goddess closed her hands obediently in a gesture to indicate "yes".

   "You must not have seen Phoenix in a while," The Heavenly Empress looked at where the peacock goddess was sitting, "We are one family but you sit so far, it seems too distant, why don't you sit next to Phoenix? It will be more convenient for me to talk to you as well."

   "Yes," The peacock goddess drank the wine she used to praise the Heavenly Empress and thereafter elegantly sat next to Phoenix. I admired her from behind Phoenix's head and thought, not bad not bad.

   After all these to-ing and fro-ing, my stomach was hungry, and so I turned all my attention to the food in front of me.

  The peacock goddess was true to the Heavenly Empress' wishes and turned to speak to Phoenix in a low voice, Phoenix would also reply her every few sentences.

   "Your Majesty, look at Phoenix and Sui He sitting over there, don't they look like the people in the painting in my room? The summer rain falling down, a loving couple under the umbrella. I still remember the name of the painting, it's called "Zhu Lian He Bi (Excellent Combination)**". I was eating happily but hearing this from the Heavenly Empress, I slowly stopped.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost: Translations (Chapter 9.4: The Heavenly Empress' Birthday Banquet)

   Here's a picture of Liu Shi Shi that I really like. I agree out of all the current actresses, I find Liu Shi Shi most suitable for Jin Mi, but mostly because her face has a natural beauty and doesn't appear to have any plastic surgery. Quite a few of the young chinese actresses appear to have done something to their faces, which makes it uncomfortable for me when I watch them act haha.

Chapter 9.4: The Heavenly Empress' Birthday Banquet (Part 4 of 5)

  "I'm late, late!" In that moment, a blushing figure rushed in from the palace door. Seeing the unmoving gods, and following their gaze towards me, he confusedly examined me for a moment, then appeared suddenly enlightened and cried, "Ah! Isn't this Zi Fen from the Hundred Flowers Palace? Truly such a beauty, getting more good looking each time."

  Once he finished, all the gods were surprised, whatever they held in their hands - cups, fans, chopsticks, all fell towards the table.

  Even if I had a strong resolve, I also felt faint, and pitied the gods in the hall - if I had just seen someone who is supposed to be comfortably sleeping in the grave jumping lively in front of them, I would also be surprised. The Moon God's vision and memory is getting worse each time.

  I walked out of the shadow and stood in front of the Moon God. I corrected him kindly, "The Moon God must have seen wrongly, the Flower Goddess has long passed away."

  The Moon God scrutinised me closer and suddenly smiled, "Ah, so it is Jin Mi! When you were standing in the dark, I could only see an unclear silhouette. My memory is bad, I can only remember that Zi Fen was incredibly beautiful, and forgotten there was also a Jin Mi. I deserve punishment," He spoke intimately with me as he grabbed my hand and turned me towards the palace front.

  Under the glow from the stars in the glass boxes, I could see the strange yet despondent expression on the Heavenly Emperor's face slowly change as he saw my face from the front - it became an expression of shock and suspicion.

  Then looking at the Heavenly Empress, what was at first an expression of alarm and helplessness, quickly changed to deep suspicion when she saw my face in the light.

  Phoenix sighed* and grabbed the hair at his temples, Night's face was inscrutable.

   The Water God dazedly looked at me, the white jade cup in front of him had fallen and smashed into pieces, they sadly laid in front of him in a pool of wine. At his side, the regal Wind Goddess was curiously examining me.

  Seeing this group of gods, I immediately felt sad, it turns out that my looks are so alarming, no wonder the Flower Leaders always wanted me to wear the hair pin to shield my looks.

   "This god is..."

   "This god is..."

  The Heavenly Emperor and Water God spoke at the same time. No wonder they are future parent in laws, they have such good chemistry**.

#talk 6: Bride of the Century (Episodes 1-4)

       I've just marathoned the first four episodes of Bride of the Century. I fast forwarded all the makjang parts, but all the OTP (one true pairing) parts between the male and female leads are absolutely adorable! It has all my favourite cliched tropes - rich male heir who is cold (because he was *gasp* kidnapped as a child by his favourite female tutor) and cursed (the first wife of his family is doomed to die), he does not believe in love and only business transactions ("you are just like the rest... you only want to be Taeyang group's daughter in law and not my wife"). The female lead is the typical spunky poor girl who because she needs medical fees for her sick grandmother, agrees to pretend to be the fiancee of the rich male heir who she just so conveniently appears to look alike! 

   The female lead, Doo Rim, isn't annoying but extremely lovable - she isn't stupid either, and just trying to make the best out of all the situations while taking no fools. It's a joy watching the male lead, Kang Joo, fall for Doo Rim. How in the first episode when the real rich female fiancee lead asked what does he like --- and he's like, do you actually believe I will play in this poor game of love? He tells her his mother will provide a list of his likes and dislikes as there is much more convenient. BUT, in the third or fourth episode, he actually asks Doo Rim what she likes... and then goes to buy her a mango cake just because she likes it. Oooh, it's too cute and there's a kiss in practically every episode. 

Haha! Look at that smirk! 

So many chinese novels try to "re-invent" the fairytale trope, but I'm like, hey I just want a good ole' Cinderella story. Thank you! 

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Once Promised (曾许诺)by Tong Hua(桐华): Translation for Chapter 4 (Part 2)

     When the Pan Gu Bow appeared in Chapter 4, my tingly Chekov senses started to ring. In case this allusion is a bit too obscure, Anton Chekov is one of the most brilliant playwrights (ever) and he is often quoted as saying, "Remove everything that has no relevance to the story. If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there."

   Tong Hua certainly follows this principle in her novel - simple objects start to gain emotional depth and deeper plot resonance as the story goes on and that's Tong Hua's genius.

Chapter 4: If You Have The Intention, Please Admire The Beauty (Part 2)

   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?"

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Once Promised (曾许诺)by Tong Hua(桐华): Translation for Chapter 4 (Part 1)

   When I read a novel, I always wait for that chapter in which that all hell breaks loose feeling kicks in - and you know you are already hooked. This chapter was it for me.

   I've decided to translate it because I love it so much, it's split into two parts. Also, I've skipped/condensed some of the descriptions so it's easier to translate and for smoother reading. 

   P.S. Also my favourite Chi You A'Heng picture <3.

Chapter 4: If You Have The Intention, Please Admire The Beauty (Part 1)

   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.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost: Translations (Chapter 9.3: The Heavenly Empress' Birthday Banquet)

   My dear readers, here's your weekly dose of Heavy Sweetness (and what a lovely dose it is after all the emotional upheavals of Once Promised and Lost You Forever). Yes, I'm going to summarise and translate favourite scenes of Once Promised, but Heavy Sweetness is still the only official translation project I am doing. Translations are a lot harder than summaries so you will only likely get a translation weekly - the thing about translations is that you got to translate everything, the parts you like and the parts you don't really like so much (haha), hence it's slower for me because I want to enjoy the process and not have it become a burden. So, Once Promised is not affecting my translation pace for Heavy Sweetness in case anyone is worried.

   I've gotten request to translate more stuff (haha), but I'm afraid time is finite, my friends. I'm trying out something new with Once Promised (writing as I read the novel, instead of writing after I complete it) and it's been pretty interesting. So, Once Promised does not affect my translation pace, but unfortunately it has affected my writing and reviewing of other novels. Hopefully, I find a comfortable pace for everything soon. I have to admit I miss modern c-novels, so I plan to plunge into a few good ones after I finish reading the Once Promised/Lost You Forever series - so for those who are wondering if I will ever do modern c-novel translations, yeah, why not? But, I am going to avoid starting something new till Once Promised Book 1 is finished.

 P.S. I have no idea where the image above came from, but in drawings, I like to think Jin Mi looks like this.

Chapter 9.3: The Heavenly Empress' Birthday Banquet (Part 3 of 5)

    Master Pu Chi flicked a hair in front of his forehead, and sobbingly sighed, "I always knew I had unconventional looks, but never thought that besides women, I will also attract males! Alas, I only like gentle girls, and will have to disappoint Phoenix's love at first sight. Ah, this is to commit a sin. Xiao Er Immortal, don't you agree?"

  I dazedly paused for a moment then answered awkwardly, "Truly, it is to commit a sin..."

   "Night wishes the Heavenly Empress prosperity and longevity," a familiar voice coursed through the hall. I lifted my head and saw Night lift a goblet of wine in the direction of the Heavenly Empress. It turns out that the toasting has just begun, as Night was the first prince, it was logical to start from him.

  The Heavenly Empress took a small sip of the wine goblet, her eyes widened and she said slowly, "Night is becoming more simple, the banquet which all the gods attend, but you only wear one stem of grapes as a hair clip. I can understand that Night is thrifty, but outsiders may not understand Night's personality like I do, and I'm afraid they will be mistaken that Night is not giving face to me. Then, they will create some rumours of discord between us two. What does Night think?"

  Night finished the goblet of wine and gave a dashing smile, "The Heavenly Empress have misunderstood. A white jade dragon clip, a pure silver or golden flower clip, a jade green clip, all these might be precious, but these are just material goods. To Night, these cannot beat the value of one stem of grapes, this stem is bestowed by a close friend and have a special meaning. Today is Heavenly Empress' birthday banquet, Night thinks nothing else is more befitting of this occasion."

  Haha, Night's words all speaks of truth, I like it.

   Master Pu Chi grabbed my shoulder and said, "Is Night's good friend, Xiao Er Immortal? I see the stem on your head is identical to his."

Monday, 3 March 2014

Once Promised (曾许诺)by Tong Hua(桐华): Summary and Scene Translation for Chapter 3 (Part 2)

    Actually Shao Hao probably appears more elegant than the picture above, but I quite like this image - a man in white robes ruling with one long sword.

Chapter 3: Making a Mistake Because of A Past Fate (Part 2)

    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 practises 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.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Once Promised (曾许诺)by Tong Hua(桐华): Detailed Summary for Chapter 3 (Part 1)

   I'm splitting Chapter 3 into 2 parts because it's a bit too long for me to summarise all in one go. Also, I love Chapter 4 to bits to bits to bits. I think I might translate most of it (cross fingers, I can snatch enough time) and I really have no idea what I'm going to do when all the pain starts, because now it's all butterflies and peach blossoms and oh my heart! <3

    Clearly, I am on the Chi You-A'Heng ship, but in Chapter Three, Shao Hao, the second male lead makes his first "appearance" and he does sound like the absolute godly contrast to Chi You. It should be interesting how they "fight" it out.

Chapter 2 (Mistakenly Falling into the Web) wrap up:
      The previous Chapter 2 I summarised was a bit redacted. Here are the additional details: It's 200 hundred years later from the events of Chapter 1, it's revealed that one of the prince who had also gone to deal with the Jiu Yi Tribe with Zhu Rong went and save Chi You. This prince is a kind-hearted prince called Yu Wang, but he has quite low godly powers (I fear for his life already haha). He is the only son of the Yan Emperor, Tong Hua makes a little note that the Yan Emperor now is passionately concentrating on chinese medicine. So Chapter 2 starts with Yu Wang going to a sacred ground in Sheng Nong and it's realised that Chi You (he has a name!) lives here. He has a master, that we do not know of yet, and this sacred ground was decreed by the Yan Emperor so Zhu Rong doesn't kill Chi You haha. So Prince Yu Wang tells Chi You that he heard Zhu Rong is using a mountain in Bo Fu Country to cultivate his powers and fire. Although this is illegal, none of the other officials dare to go against Zhu Rong, so Prince Yu Wang ask Chi You to help him go to Bo Fu Country and check it out for him. Chi You is reluctant since the enmity between Zhu Rong and him is already so great, but Prince Yu Wang says he just needs to confirm the fact for him and he will deal with it himself --- he also promises the Yan Emperor's best wine, and so Chi You makes the trip to Bo Fu Country. 

  So, that provides the context of why Chi You heads to Bo Fu Country! It's not clear though if Chi You actually recognises A'Heng when he sees her for the first time, although she is also dressed in green. My gut feeling is that he does not consciously recognise her, though his gut instincts does because Tong Hua describes him feeling like all the trees have blossomed. Chi You actually wants to ignore her, because she smiles at him and his experience in the last two years is that people are evil behind their smiles. But, she persists, and he decides heck it, he shall find out what lies beneath her smile... 

  There's a short paragraph more after my summary ends for Chapter 2, basically Chi You wakes up the next day and realises A'Heng has disappeared. He looks at the sky and sees the angry fire god, Zhu Rong, riding on his special Bi Fang bird (a mythological bird that appears during fire disasters) with the plan to take revenge on A'Heng. So, Chi You disappears in a flash too. 

Comments: Heh, isn't it awesome that no matter the enmity between Zhu Rong and Chi You, Chi You will protect A'Heng from Zhu Rong even two hundred years later? 

Chapter 2's title, Mistakenly Falling Into the Web - I think it describes how Chi You's decision to find out what lies beneath A'Heng's smile is what led him to fall into the web of love, which will unravel and trap him endlessly. 

Chapter Three: Making a Mistake Because of a Past Fate

    The chapter starts 1 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!