Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Gentleman Free-Floating Cloud (闲云公子) Chapter 1 – Part 2 of 2


Chapter 1 (2/2)

“What!”

 The exclamation of a male voice jolted her back to consciousness.

“Miss and I will stay in the same room.  Young Master need not send anyone to take care of us.” She recognized the second voice as He Zai’s.

She has to struggle before she managed to open her eyes a crack.  The surroundings were unfamiliar – unfamiliar bed, unfamiliar house.  Through the half-open door, she could see that it was now night time.  There were two men outside the room; one is He Zai, and the other…. is it the disease-stricken He Rong Hua?

“Are you husband and wife?” He Rong Hua sounded alarmed.

“No.”

“Since you are not, it is inappropriate for an unmarried man and woman to spend the night together in the same room…”

“If someone else were to look after Miss, it will be even more inappropriate.  Miss was poisoned while she was in the manor.  Unless Young Master can find the culprit, He Zai would not dare to let anyone else get close to Miss.”

“That is impossible!  No one in Tian He Manor would do such a despicable thing.”

“It is a fact that Miss was poisoned.  Your doctor has confirmed this; the poison has been found in the tea.  Or does Young Master believe that your people could not have done this so it must have been Miss who poisoned herself?”

“No, that is not what I mean…” The protest sound weak and even placatory.

“I hope Young Master finds the culprit soon.”  He Zai did not speak more and proceeded to close the door in He Rong Hua’s face.  He came to the bedside and frowned as he met her eyes. “Miss has been poisoned and has been sleeping for several hours.  It is night time now.”

She struggled to sit up despite feeling weak all over. “I know.”

He Zai steadied her gently. “It is lucky that Fifth Gentleman of Cloud Manor is here.  He is well-versed in the arts of healing and he is the one who found that Miss has been poisoned.  I have fed you the medicine but you will need to rest for a few days.”

She shot him a look.  Ignoring her aching body, she moved to the table and snuffed the candle.  As the room plunged into darkness, she ordered: “He Zai, come to bed.”

Outside, someone sighed.

“Yes… Miss.” He Zai did not move a muscle.

She closed her eyes and after a while, she heard a set of footsteps stomping away.

“Although your vital organs are not harmed, you will need to rest.  It is best not to exert your qi (energy) in the next few days.” 

She did not open her eyes and fingered her jade flute.  Her breathing was unsteady and her lips were white.

“Miss?”

“He Zai, how long have you been with me?”  

“It has been ten years exactly.”


Monday, 28 April 2014

Once Promised (曾许诺)by Tong Hua(桐华): Translation for Chapter 8 (Part 2)




    Out of my 3 translation series, Once Promised is probably the hardest to translate - I don't know why - is it the words, the complexity of expression, or that feeling of something slowly twisting tightly on your heart? 

  I think this is the series that has the most silent readers as well, perhaps you too are quietly savouring each stroke Tong Hua etches in our hearts?


Chapter 8: The Oak Tree, The Hundred Angled Vine (Part 2 of 3) 

    On the second day, A'Heng was awaken by the roosters crowing.

   The morning was not as deathly quiet as the Jade Mountain, but also not like the pleasant morning song of the birds in Chao Yun peak.

  When people meet each other they will mutually greet "good morning", young maidens arranging to pick mulberry leaves together, the clashing sound of men picking up their work tools, the high-pitched voices of mothers waking up their children, the noise and crying sounds from the kids, the "moo" from the cows, the "yang"  sounds from the sheeps, the "ji ji" sounds of the mother hens....

  Too noisy! But --

  A'Heng smiled, this was also truly lively!

  A'Heng met Mi Duo's mother. Because of her long illness, she has been tortured till there was only a thin layer of skin wrapping her bones, she could not even speak a whole sentence.

  A'Heng found out that Mi Duo's lover was called Jin Dan, he was not in the mountain village the last two days, Mi Duo told A'Heng, Jin Dan had gone to the other village to find a maiden to marry.

  A'Heng was shocked, "Aren't the two of you... aren't you angry?"

  Mi Duo smiled and shook her head, "Mum is bed-ridden, my younger brother is still small, I'm the only woman of the house, the house needs me, he has already waited for me for four years, he can no longer wait."

  "So the both of you have to part?"

   "Yes, he will be good to another maiden now." Mi Duo's expression darkened, but she still smiled.

  "Even though you knew both of you had to part, you still... you still met him at night?" A'Heng could not understand.

  Mi Duo was surprised, instead she could not understand A'Heng, "Precisely because we were going to separate, we had to grab tight every single moment we can spend together.*"

  A'Heng could not pinpoint what was right about what Mi Duo had said, but she could not also state what she found wrong. Maybe, in this deep mountain far from the world, this was what was right, and the excessive rules and proprieties in the complex society were what was wrong.

  A'Heng did not want Jin Dan to leave Mi Duo, but the only way for Mi Duo to be able to marry Jin Dan was if there was another woman who could handle the household matters.

  A'Heng asked Mi Duo if a tribe witch had seen to her mother's illness, Mi Duo said a year ago Jin Dan and a few brothers of the mountain village carried her mother to Chi You Village, the head tribe witch said that no mortal would be able to save her mother, one can only follow heaven's will.

  A'Heng understood that there were illnesses that could not be cured in this world, the Yan Emperor's medical skills were the best in the realm, but still he could not save his daughter Princess Yao.

  Because her mood was not good, she ran to the mountain peak where there were very few people to see Ah Bi and Lie Yang. These two fellow had totally messed up her bag, A'Heng tidied it up again and saw that there was a packet of unripe peaches.

  These were the unripe peaches she had sunned on Jade Mountain, these were supposed to be snacks for Ah Bi and Lie Yang, but Ah Bi and Lie Yang had eaten them for ten plus years, and were already sick of it, so they weren't willing to even touch it.

  A'Heng picked a few pieces of unripe peach, casually placed it in her mouth, she ate them, suddenly she jumped up, and rushed down the mountain.

  A'Heng decided to use these peaches to save Mi Duo's mother, remembering the example of Ah Bi. Still, she did not dare to give these straight to Mi Duo's mother, she took a small piece to boil water, and gave the boiled water to Mi Duo's mother to drink.

  On the first day, A'Heng was very worried, there was no good reaction from Mi Duo's mother, on the second day, Mi Duo's mother actually started to say she was hungry and started to eat. Mi Duo was so shocked she wanted to cry and laugh, because her mother had not wanted to eat for four to five years.


Sunday, 27 April 2014

Gentleman Free-Floating Cloud (闲云公子) Chapter 1 – Part 1 of 2


We have met Huang Fu Yun when she was ten and she met He Zai, then once more when she was fourteen and she met Gong Sun Xian Yun.  Now she is twenty and if possible, she seems even more like a wimp then before.  To me, that is ok so long as she continues to bring in the laughs, so let’s see what she has got in the first chapter. 


Sidenote to readers: The chapters are rather long, so I will break up each chapter posting into two from here onwards.


- Moonblossom -






Chapter 1  (1/2)

 


The secret to longevity is to know one’s limits according to Wang Yun’s beliefs.

Her case is a classic case of name and personality mismatch.  The ‘Yun’ () in her name refers to the big waves on the river, but she is only of average smarts, average charisma, average kongfu, and possess zero guts to boot.  It is ironical that she lives in Bai Ming Sect where people say things like “fight!” or “kill!” every other day.  Thankfully, there are only small waves and no big waves so far….

No, she should be honest and acknowledge that there were times when there were big waves.  Luckily, she managed to tide through each crisis time after time, almost as if the heavens have no eyes or that it is blind.  Since she will be turning twenty this year, it seems that her luck is not too bad and she should be able to live till a ripe old age… As long as she did not walk into a snakepit called the Central Plains. And right into the heart of the enemy camp no less….

Speaking of the Central Plains… wow, this place is so prosperous, so amazing.  She looked around her and finally turned to the young man behind her “He Zai, are they looking at you?”

The young man in question looks around twenty-five or twenty-six.  He is a big man and has a pair of clear brows, full lips, and long hair which he let fall freely on his shoulders, giving him a wild look.  He wears heavy, exotic make-up like her with a snake painted on one side.  Without batting a lid, he answered: “They should be looking at both of us.”

She did not sound pleased at his answer and continued strolling with her hands folded behind her back.  The Sky Slave bell on her wrist matched the Sky Slave bell at his ankle and gave off a pleasant tinkling sound.  However, the people of the Central Plains did not seem to recognize good stuff when they hear or see one for she noticed they were the recipients of many unfriendly stares.

“They are looking at us because... we are Sky Slaves?”

“Miss is clever”

She continued to probe: “So the people in Central Plains are all aware that the bells and snake emblem are the mark of Sky Slaves?”

“Miss is very clever”


Saturday, 26 April 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 6



  *Translator's Note: I've come to realised that I mistook Qi Feng Xiang (翔) with Yu (羽), hence his name is Qi Feng Xiang and not Qi Feng Yu. My bad! The first version I looked at when I summarised the synopsis had the wrong words. I've corrected all the names now :).

  Su Li Li has a little protector of her own even as she has to face the demons of her past. But, as the past extends its sharp claws towards her, will she be able to maintain the peace she tries so hard to keep? 

   In the months after Scene 5, Su Li Li was worried Qi Feng Xiang would find her, but he never came, so her heart started to feel more settled. The autumn passed and winter arrived. When the first snow of winter fell, Su Li Li went to find Yan Huan again. Yan Huan tells Su Li Li that Qi Feng Xiang was a businessman and had returned to You Zhou. Su Li Li did not believe that Qi Feng Xiang was actually a businessman, but hearing that he was no longer in the capital, her heart was half relieved.

  One night, deep in the winter, Su Li Li felt something heavy in her heart, she awoke to see a shadow. In her room, she sees the man who she saw killed another man in the wilderness when she raided a tomb (see Scene 2, he is Qi Feng Xiang's subordinate). Su Li Li calls this person claw-face.


Scene 6: I just wish for you a lifetime of peace

   She cries "ah----", just as claw face was going to stretch out his hand towards her, at the same time, a firm strength pulled her to the back. A shining object pierced forth from the back to the front, claw face was forced to retract his hand. Su Li Li felt her waist tightened, and herself being pushed back, when she finally stood firm in the yard and her consciousness returned, she saw that Mu Tou was already fighting with claw face under the moonlight.

  Mu Tou had the advantage, each stance he took was a winning one, he could attack and he could defend. Claw face attacked forth with many strokes, but Mu Tou could easily returned them, he was winning purely by sword stances. 

  In an instant, claw face saw a gap and struck a punch towards Mu Tou. Mu Tou did not recede, he cut the sword edge down and coldly said, "Retract." 

  If he did not retract his move, he would definitely harm Mu Tou's blood vessels, but if he did so his hand will also be gone. Although claw face's move was quick, he had steadily retracted and quickly hid his killing intent, but he looked at Mu Tou as if he saw a ghost, after half a moment, he said, "Your stances are brilliant but you lack internal energy, you can't beat me."

  Mu Tou did not rebut this, he simply said, "This is the third time you have come. If you come again, I will not show mercy." His hand returned to his body, the sound of the sword blade slashing the wind clearly showed his determination. 

  Su Li Li tightened her clothes, seeing the two standing opposed to each other in the yard. A murderous intent started to spread in the air. The night wind blew across, blowing some strands of her hair that had fallen astray, but claw face's sleeves did not move, as if he was thinking if he should attack, or not? 

  Mu Tou did not move, his hand on the sword did not move. 

  Su Li Li always dared to break a stern atmosphere, seeing this stagnant air, she stood behind Mu Tou, leaned her head out halfway and tried her best to firmly asked, "What are you looking for? If you are looking for something, tell me, I'm most familiar with things around here."

  Claw face swept his eye across her, he told Mu Tou, "I recognise your martial arts. Today I will not fight with you to give your teacher (shi fu) face". After finishing, he leaped out of the yard, as if he was a bat in the night.

  Su Li Li felt a little aggrieved, "Eh - I was talking to him, why did he ignore me?!"


Friday, 25 April 2014

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost: Translation (Chapter 11.4: Where Does the Origin of Water Lie?)




   Hello Heavy Sweetness fans, we have finally come to the end of Chapter 11 and as Chapter 12 begins, we will finally move into the second half of the book. If you have found this novel sweet and light so far, from the second half onwards perhaps you will start to feel the weight of this sweetness.

  I've often talked about speeding up Heavy Sweetness translations and now I'm going to "walk" the talk. The thing is because of the way I divided Heavy Sweetness chapters when I started translating, it actually slowed its pace as compared to Once Promised which has smaller splits in chapters depending on whether it is half summary or fully translated. So, I do feel like at times in my schedule, I need to push Heavy Sweetness along because I'm sure everyone has been waiting for the secrets to fall!

  Enjoy! <3



Chapter 11.4: Where Does the Origin of Water Lie? (Part 4 of 4)

  I was originally cold, being held by a snake I felt even colder, so I pushed away this snake.

  The Flower Leader's eyebrows were actually standing upside down, she appeared to want to rebuke Master Pu Chi, but after seeing me push him away, her expression warmed.

  Master Pu Chi fell back two steps, he clutched his heart and said, "My weak heart...."

  The Water God's expression was profound and difficult to read in the midst of the descending snow, in the middle of his eyebrows there appeared to be a sadness like a deep lake, the depths of which cannot be measured, a snowflake melted on his cheeks, it melted into a drop of tear and slid down his cheek, he lightly opened his mouth, as if there were a thousand things to say but only a hundred languages, finally they culminated into one line, "Jin Mi has summoned this large storm of snow, what does Flower Leader Mu Dan think of this?" His voice seemed to choke.

  The Flower Leader's face was shocked, as if someone had stolen ten thousand years of cultivation from her, but she closed her lips tightly and did not respond to the Water God's question. Master Pu Chi's face was deep in thought, it was rare to see that he has kept his usual smile from his face.

  I could not be bothered with their secretive hinting to each other, I only felt extremely pleased, I a mere grape stem was now able to summon snow, the time for me to ascend into godhood must be soon!

  The Flower Leader appeared to be uncomfortable by the stares of two pairs of eyes and finally said, "I am only a small flower goddess in the Flower World, does the Water God not know his own matters and require someone else to explain it to him?"

  With this, the Water God's face seemed to be covered with a blush, after half a moment, he said, "At that time, Zi Fen and I......"

  The Water God stopped midway and Master Pu Chi appeared to have realised an incredible secret, he made a respectful gesture to the Water God and indicated that he will be leaving. Before he left, he told me, "Jin Mi, my maiden, Yan You will cleanse himself and come visit you again." The Flower Leader glared at him.


Thursday, 24 April 2014

Gentleman Free-Floating Cloud (闲云公子) Prologue 1: The First Person



Hello everyone! Firstly, I like to thank Decembi for hosting me.  I must be a bit loony to start a translation project but what is youth *cough!* without doing a few crazy things right?  HK – this is also dedicated to you for your faith in me, although I am not sure if you will ever get online and read this.


Recently, Decembi posted this thread Gentleman Free-Floating Cloud by Yu  Qing (闲云公子) at SSB.  The post brought back fond memories as I remember the female lead Huang Fu Yu very clearly.  She is an exceptionally calm girl – probably due to the grooming/torture under her crazy Sect Leader – and she has a way of avoiding trouble until she has no choice but to face it straight on. It is a lighthearted wuxia story and I hope you would enjoy reading the tale as much as I am having fun translating it.  The book is short at about 10-12 chapters and I think I should be able to manage a chapter or two each week so hopefully you don't have to wait too long between chapters.  Do pardon my occasional grammatical errors and let's get started with the story.


- - - - - -  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Prologue – The First Person


She lifted a silk curtain and walked into a dimly lit hall. 

Really, it is such a waste to have poor lighting for such good hall.  Upon the advice of some expert, the candles have been strategically arranged to bask the Sect Leader in an eerie glow when the candlelight is cast on his seat.

“Look Yun-er, what new toy have I got for you!”  Sect Leader smiled as he waved a hand at her.

She walked slowly to his chair and let him held up her little hand. “What interesting toy have Master got for Yun-er?” she replied calmly, with nary a flicker in her eyes.

“You are so young but always act old” Sect Leader smiled.

No, it was not her intention to act older than her age.  Her dream was in fact, to be able to act her age.  According to her research, a normal girl of her age should be learning embroidery or something like that, and not engage in a mental battle with Sect Leader day after day.

When she was standing in front of the mirror yesterday, she spotted a strand of silver on her head.  After thinking about it, she concluded that the silver hair was not a natural occurrence, so it must have been a result of overexertion.

“Look, that is the good stuff I brought back for you.” Sect Leader looked expectantly at her, eager to catch her every reaction.

At the bottom of the marble steps was a young man in white.  He was kneeling and looked rather unkempt.  Actually, she has noticed him the moment she walked into the hall.  She only pretended not to see him as her Way for Life-Preservation.

“Master, who is he?”

“An orthodox pugilist who has overestimated his powers when he sneaked into Bai Ming Sect to assassinate me.  He should have died, but I’m a generous man and decided to keep him as a Sky Slave.  Yun-er, I recall that you do not have a Sky Slave yet?

“Yun-er is still young and has no use for a Sky Slave at the moment.”

Sect Leader gave a mysterious laugh: “Yun-er has lost your family since young and lack guidance.  However, you will come to this bridge sooner or later.  Since this young man is quite good looking with a good bone set, you can take him and use him.”


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

#talk 11: Guest blogger Moonblossom translating Gentleman Free Floating Cloud (闲云公子)!


   I've long admired Moonblossom's translations at the Lost You Forever thread at SSB. She's so sweet to always translate people's requests! We are both great fans of the taiwanese author, Yu Qing (于晴), and she has decided to take on Gentleman Free Floating Cloud as a translation project. She will be guest blogging here! :)

  I'm very honoured and please do give Moonblossom a lot of support and fan love! I know from my review and 2nd prologue entry that a lot of people were sighing that they won't be able to read the novel because they can't read chinese, so it's really incredible that someone is picking this up!

  I will leave it to Moonblossom to introduce herself and the project. I've actually updated the translation in the review entry because I left out the last few paragraphs for the 2nd prologue entry so now it's complete. Do check it out for the complete 2nd prologue!

  I will try to tidy up the sidebar and do a proper translations page soon (please pardon my IT idiot-ness), and let's welcome Moonblossom <3.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost: Translation (Chapter 11.3: Where Does the Origin of Water Lie?)




   In this chapter, another old favourite of mine appears. Perhaps, not the dream guy some readers might have in mind...


Chapter 11.3: Where Does the Origin of Water Lie? (Part 3 of 4) 

   The Water God's long white robes had a silverish tint to it, the thin rain subsided, he stood tall in front of me, the mist was like a veil that came forth. He lowered his head and looked at me, then looked at the Flower Goddess' tomb by the side, his eyes, like a lake that was full, was cool and clear, so clear it was almost sad.



   There was no wind and no rain, the thin and tall Deng Xin grass* that covered the entire ground lightly swayed, as if they were all leaning towards the direction of his feet, a very small and light sigh floated from his mouth, the sigh seeped into the light morning mist and could no longer be found**.

   It was in this manner that he lowered his head and looked at me, the gaze full of lake water lightly rippled, it made me worry that if he lowered his head even more, his eye rims would not be able to withhold the gaze full of lake water and it would start to leak. However, my worry was unnecessary.

  He gazed at me, I did not know for how long, it seemed to be as long as a dream, and yet also as  short as a dream.

  "Jin Mi Immortal is guarding Zi Fen's burial ground?" Not waiting for me to answer, he continued, "This place was originally a crabapple forest, every early Spring in March they would blossom, it is an extremely dazzling and grand sight. I've always considered it lucky that that night I had returned late, hence I was able to recall back one portion of Zi Fen's soul. But I often regretted it as well, if I did not return late that day, this world will not have Zi Fen, and then she would not have needed to go through so many years of hardship, and then finally her soul completely obliterating..."


Monday, 21 April 2014

Gentleman Free-Floating Cloud by Yu Qing (闲云公子 -于晴)(5 stars) (HE)





    I had a short respite over the weekend from my deluge of work, and chanced across this interesting c-novel called Gentleman Free-Floating Cloud (although a part of me was tempted to translate it as Gentleman Carefree Cloud but I decided I like the sound of free-floating more). I realised while reading the epic beginning that I've long read this before! Actually, I read it when it was published around 2011. Heh. I know my taiwanese authors quite well.

  To be honest, I can't really remember Yu Qing's other works but I always held great fondness for her Cloud Family Series and plan to re-read the whole series again and share my thoughts. Gentleman Free-Floating Cloud is actually the prequel of the first novel, the title is 《一鸣天下》 which sounds like the chinese proverb 《一鸣惊人》 which means to amaze the world with one shout. Literally translated, the chines proverb is about a bird that does not cry, but once it cries, everyone is shocked. I'm not really sure how I would translate that (haha), so I will call the first novel "To Rule the World With One Cry".

  Here's the synopsis I posted on SSB:

 As the left protector of the Demon Sect, and being so "honoured" to be seen as the successor by her crazy Demon Sect leader...... ah, to be honest, she's someone who rather just lead an idle life, but... sigh, her luck has always not been good.


When she was ten, the Demon Sect leader bestowed upon her a handsome sect servant (they are called Sky Slaves (天奴)), in order to survive, she and her sky slave never parted from then on, cooperating perfectly, he even promised he would follow her for one life, one lifetime... what a one life, one lifetime!



 Ah... it's only a beautiful back, there's nothing important about it, she shall be generous and not ask the person to take responsibility. Who knew that she's generous but the other person is stubborn, insisting on having her as an adopted sister! Adopted sister? She once heard that the Cloud Family has a bad practice in the "Jiang Hu" (literally rivers and lakes, but indicating the pugilist world).



--- Ah! She has miscalculated! Miscalculated! Once she met the charismatic but poisonous heavenly man, can she make a full retreat?



 Haha, I suppose the synopsis sounds a bit messy, but that's really the literal translation! Haha. Most taiwan novels have strange blurbs, and they aren't always characteristic of the writing.


Review:

  Now, I love this novel. It's not perfect, but it sure packs a punch! It has two short prologues and ten chapters and if you are proficient in chinese, you can finish it in two hours. But, the journey that this novel takes you on is amazing. It starts with the female lead, Huang Fu Yun (皇甫), who at the age of ten is already forced to be the left protector of the Demon Sect. The Demon Sect usually has the Sect leader and the next two most powerful would be the right protector and the left protector, kind of like the left and right hands of the Sect leader. Huang Fu Yun inherited this position from her mother who passed away when she was young.

  When the first prologue starts, that is when you meet the second male lead, He Zai (何哉). It's incredibly exciting because He Zai, is a young handsome pugilist from the central plains who had infiltrated the Demon Sect to try and kill the Sect leader - but he got caught. Instead of killing He Zai, the Sect leader "gives" him to Huang Fu Yun. But Huang Fu Yun, often called Yun Er, is smarter than that and knows her Sect Leader is testing her again. The Sect Leader passes her the Sky Slave bangles, these gold bangles are considered a mark of humiliation for the central plain pugilists and can never be taken off once they are placed. Yun Er sees that He Zai while injured is a person that would rather die a noble death than be humiliated and will most likely kick her to death when she tries to put the bangle on him. So, this is what she does --- she marvels at how pretty the bangle is, and puts one on herself --- shocking everyone --- then she places the other bangle on He Zai's right ankle. There's this line she says that I really like, "You have one, I have one, it's fair."

  Now, the second male lead and the female lead's relationship is all kinds of awesome sauce and so complicated. In this dark and poisonous tribe, they protected each other for ten years. They take you have my back to very literal ends. And yet, despite this beautiful poignant depiction of their relationship, I am completely on the ship for the first male lead, Gong Sun Yun (公孙云), who is so perfect for the female lead from the first moment they meet!


Sunday, 20 April 2014

#talk 10: Hui3r's Hua Xu Yin (华胥引)



    Tang Qi Gong Zi/Tang 7 is the famous author of the Three Lives Three World series (Ten Thousand Miles of Peach Blossom & The Pillow Book), but many have said that her best work is actually Hua Xu Yin. I've never commented on it because I've not actually read the original book (the main couple does get their happy ending, but the story also delves into many other sub-stories and those couples usually get very bittersweet endings). Peanuts started summarising some of the sub-stories and in the best twist of fate, Peanut's mythical landlord, Hui3r returned, and she has picked up Hua Xu Yin to translate officially. 

  I've only started talking to Hui3r probably about a week ago, but immediately she has become the most amazing Unni (big sister in the korean context, and not so much the japanese sea urchin haha). We actually spent one night just comparing our libraries and realising that her madness is like my own is a kind of beautiful sanity. 

 I'm sure most of my blog readers are already avid fans of hui3r and peanut's blog! But, those that do not know of this most amazing blog, do check out hui3r's translations for Hua Xu Yin. Hua Xu Yin is not for the faint-hearted, and yet perhaps it is meant for the faint-hearted to fortify our weak hearts against all that is brokenhearted in this world. It really is beautiful and heartrending prose, and hui3r translates it very faithfully to the spirit of the text and has the best footnotes.

 I am giving you fair warning that once you start on Hua Xu Yin, you don't want to stop and you are going to enter into some of the most ferocious debates in the c-novel community. But, ah, THE FEELS. Hui3r is now at the first sub-couple story, Shen An and Song Ning, and that story affected me so much I actually went and re-wrote my own version of the ending. Yes, Hua Xu Yin is that kind of story that will ache in your bones and never leave you. 

 So, clutch your heart, and jump in! And, if you need some hugs and tissues from the sub-stories, feel free to come back here haha! I will post my "fanfic" version of the Shen An and Song Ning saga when it ends as well. 

  You won't regret it. Or actually, you will probably regret it, but also feel like, ah, so this is what my heart is for. 

  It is for reading brilliant novels like this and meeting like-hearted soulmates that make you realise that no matter how big this world is, you will never be alone if there are soulmates like these. To Hui3r <3, to the continuous descent in this madness. 


Once Promised (曾许诺)by Tong Hua(桐华): Translation for Chapter 8 (Part 1)




   This chapter is very long but it's very beautiful. It's pretty obvious that I'm a huge Chi You and A'Heng fan, and I think Xiao Yao is a lot like her mother, she needs a little push before she allows herself to fall for someone. While A'Heng, I think, was slowly softening towards Chi You in the earlier chapters, it is in this chapter where like the vines that grows and entwines itself around the huge oak tree, she allows her heart to become attached, even if she is not just Xi Ling Heng, even if she is the princess of the Xuan Yuan Tribe, Xuan Yuan Ba.


Chapter 8: The Oak Tree, The Hundred Angled Vine (Part 1 of 3)

   A'Heng did not close her eyes the whole night, when the morning arrived she was finally so tired that she fell asleep. When she awoke later she was surprised that they have reached Bo Xi mountain, Ah Bi had stopped in a mountain valley.

  A'Heng sat up straight, she reached out to touch Chi You who was by her side, the touch was burning, his injuries were increasingly serious.

   A'Heng looked at the four surroundings, it was all dense luxuriant forested mountains, she did not understand, she asked Lie Yang who stood on the tree tops, "Did Chi You tell you where to go? Are you lost?"

  Lie Yang was extremely displeased that A'Heng dared to suspect him, he gave a squawk and straightened his wings, slashed towards A'Heng in one big stroke, and turned around.

  A'Heng was deeply worried, she did not know any medical skills, they needed to find someone who had medical skills to take care of Chi You. She suddenly heard voices from afar, she decided to go check.

  She walked in front, Ah Bi carried Chi You behind, Lie Yang proudly stood above Ah Bi.

  They passed a mountain depression, A'Heng's eyes lit up.

  The rolling and rising two green hills, a great river undulated out of the mountain valley, the rays from the setting sun fell at a low angle onto the mountain, causing the opposing mountain to be shone brownish gold, the mountain winds blew, the tree leaves shook, the entire mountain seemed to be shining like gold.

  The wide great river also seemed to shimmer with gold flakes, a group of fishermen were on a wooden raft, trying to catch fish, with a lift of their arms, the silver net flew high, then slowly landed into the great river. Although it was clearly an ordinary net, but the entire net shone with a silverish light, combining with the golden glow shimmering on the great river, the entire sight was bedazzling, it was even more beautiful than the moon silk that her mother weaved.

  The fishermen loudly cried signals together, as they sang the work song, they coordinated to carry the net, the fishes in the fish net jumped up in horror, their tails flipping in mid-air, the water droplets splattering, the sun light reflecting, it seemed like the entire great river was shining with seven colours.

  It was so effortful and difficult, but it was also so lively and bustling.

  A'Heng watched until she was dazed, she unconsciously stopped her pace.

  In the midst of the fishes' jumping, the fishermen were overjoyed with their catch, as a young male pulled in the net, he sang a loud and joyous song, his wild and rugged voice echoed far away in the mountain valleys.

  "The sun is settling in the mountain, there is an abundant catch of fish, I sing a mountain song to check your intentions, the water flows down from the high mountains, the oak tree teases the hornet nest. The girls at the opposing side are picking mulberries, they are carrying a basket as they forage the whole mountain, give a cry my lovely maiden, your gentleman misses you...*"

  Even before the fisherman's song finished, a bright and clear female's voice rang from the mountain.

  "The gentleman is the oak tree on the mountain, the maiden is the hundred angled vine that entangles around its trunk.** I am not afraid that the gentleman of my heart stands high, I grab your legs and I will reach you, after I have twined you tired, then will I loosen the ropes..."


Friday, 18 April 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 5


 
    I thought the picture above was perfect for Mu Tou! A vagabond type of swordsman. Heehee. This is a very short cute scene. It comes right after Scene 4.


Scene 5: Don't Carve My Name

   Falling straight asleep upon hitting the pillow, she had a dreamless night, she only awoke when the sunlight had reached the third stem of the window sill. Su Li Li felt that she had slept an extremely deep sleep, when she awoke her whole body felt lethargic, she straightened her clothes and headed to the toilet. 

  Walking under the eaves of the roof, Mu Tou walked face-on towards her, and greeted her with a "So you awoke". Su Li Li's body may be awake, but her brain wasn't, she numbly replied, "Yes", and brushed by his shoulders. 

  On her way back, she saw that early in the morning the yard was already stacked with waste wood material, one floor full of wooden shavings. Su Li Li's hair unkempt, she gave a yawn, and pointed to the floor and said, "You carved these all this morning?"

  Mu Tou made a sound indicating yes.

  Su Li Li carefully looked, one block had the word "longevity" carved in it, another block had the word "prosperity" carved in it, these were commonly used words on a coffin. But there was still one block, it had the word "Su" carved it in. 

  Su Li Li was alarmed, "You definitely cannot carve this on a coffin. We don't carve our names as a marking in this trade. In case the people who lie in it are too comfortable and they come thanking us, we won't be able to handle it!"

  After speaking finished, Su Li Li didn't even wait for Mu Tou to reply, she drowsily washed her face, pulled up her hair, and went to the kitchen to forage for food. Uncle Cheng was sitting on the table drinking soya bean milk. Su Li Li grabbed a piece of fried dough, tore a piece and threw it in her mouth, she heard Uncle Cheng say, "This kid, even before the morning arrived, he was already in the yard working, I don't think he even slept last night."

  Su Li Li idly replied, "Maybe he drank too much tea last night and couldn't sleep." But her lips couldn't help being pulled up into a curve.


Comments: Ahahahah! How cute. How cute. Like a young boy feeling the first pangs of love, he carved the name of the girl he likes on a wooden block... just like lovers carving their initials on a tree trunk. At least, that's what I like to think :) 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost: Translation (Chapter 11.2: Where Does the Origin of Water Lie?)



   Hello! Taking a short break from my extremely packed work week to say hello! :) I noticed that there has been a HUGE spurt in the love for Heavy Sweetness.

   With the exit of a power player, enters another. It's non-stop drama for Jin Mi, no wonder she's confused!


Monday, 14 April 2014

Once Promised (曾许诺)by Tong Hua(桐华): Translation for Chapter 7 (Part 3)


   To round up the "real life" casting of A'Heng, Shao Hao and Chi You, I do think that Yuan Hong is perfect for Chi You. I think it's his eye brows haha.

  And, yes, my favourite character is back! <3


Saturday, 12 April 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 4




   If Liu Shi Shi is Jin Mi, Ariel Lin is A'Heng, then Ady An shall be Su Li Li. Because, I think Su Li Li is pretty, but not the kind of beauty that topples nations, I imagine she has a soft kind of beauty, that's clean, comfortable and always tinged with a light wistfulness.

   From Scene 3, a month has passed and Mu Tou has started walking without the board on his leg. On a rainy day, Li Li asks Mu Tou to accompany her shopping down the streets. She buys two handsome outfits for Mu Tou, and then receives the most beautiful female robes she earlier ordered from the clothes shop. As they leave the store, Mu Tou tells Su Li Li that the female robes suit her. She laughs. That day was the seventh day of the seventh month (commonly known as Chinese Valentine's Day and the day the Cow Herder meets the Weaving Girl (read this Heavy Sweetness entry to learn more about the legend)), after dinner, Su Li Li takes the wrapped up beautiful female robes and heads out.

  She has come to the most famous brothel in town. She is here to visit her sworn sister, her previous maid, Yan Huan, who was mistaken as her (see summary here for full details) and forced to become a prostitute. She meets Yan Huan and says, today is the seventh day of the seventh month, our birthday. Yan Huan is cold to her, but is slightly warmer when Li Li gives her the wrapped up gorgeous female robes as a present. Yan Huan asks why Li Li still dresses up this way when she is fifteen. Li Li tells Yan Huan that the Emperor is now too busy with his own troubles, she has saved up money and will try and redeem her. Yan Huan laughs bitterly at Li Li - at her age, what is there left to redeem? At this point, Yan Huan's client arrives and she tells Li Li to leave.

  Li Li meets the client on her way out and it's the brocade robed gentleman in white! He catches her and asks if she leans both ways (since she previously said she was brokeback but now is at a brothel!). Li Li admits she is a girl to visit Yan Huan, her sworn sister. The gentleman refuses to let Li Li go until she tells him her real name. She tells him her name is Su Li Li, Li from the phrase "going away". Qi Feng Xiang tells Li Li his name and tells her to remember it. Li Li quickly leaves.

  Yan Huan is slightly jealous of Qi Feng Xiang's attention to Li Li so she misleads Qi Feng Xiang into thinking she is the previous Imperial Adviser's daughter (who is actually Su Li Li), knowing that Qi Feng Xiang purposely came to find the previous Imperial Adviser's daughter.

   Su Li Li comes home in all anxiety. She starts to walk around the courtyard and wonder how many more orders she has to finish......


Scene 4: Borrowed Time

   Su Li Li turned around, and gazed at the top of the yard wall, she was a little dazed, as if asking herself and asking him, "Where should I move?" 

  Just now at the Ming Yue Brothel, she was still quite composed, but now although her expression was peaceful, deep in her eyes she was like a bird that had narrowly escaped an arrow, hiding a deep fear. 

  Mu Tou stopped his knife, he lifted his eyes to look at her, calmly he said, "The beef stall at the opposite end of the street is good, if you want to move, move there."

    The pine oil twigs exploded in a blaze of fire, its glow caused the shadows from four sides to flicker, in a moment, it exhausted itself on the ground and the flame extinguished. It was dark, the yard a sheet of black, even those who had sight was as good as blind*. As if she could not find the direction, Su Li Li hesitated for a moment, then moved towards the back of the small yard, as she walked two steps, she felt her arms tightened, Mu Tou grabbed her.

  She turned her head, in the darkness her eyes finally concentrated on Mu Tou's face. Mu Tou stood up, held one of her hand, "Where are you going?"

  Su Li Li lowered her head and thought for a moment, she said lightly and quickly, "I don't know, I must go, they have found me."

  "Who have found you?" Mu Tou asked gently.


Thursday, 10 April 2014

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost: Translation (Chapter 11.1: Where Does the Origin of Water Lie?)



   It's always nice to start a new chapter! Dian Xian plots her novel quite carefully so each chapter reveals the secret of its title. :)

  This chapter is lighter on the romance, but stronger on the intrigue.


Chapter 11.1: Where does the Origin of Water Lie? (Part 1 of 4)

  In the midst of Peng Lai God Mountain, the fabled abode of immortals, the floating clouds, the water, the small boat.

  In the midst of the seeming and seeming-less cloud mist, a person stepped up from a wooden raft, he gave me a warm smile, "I rashly brought Jin Mi Immortal into this realm of illusion, I hope Jin Mi Immortal will not mind."

  I obediently answered, "The Heavenly Emperor is too polite."

  Actually what I thought was, whoever who was sleeping sweetly in a dream, if the person's soul was summoned out when they were dreaming, they would all be a little angry, but if the person who made this request was the Heavenly Emperor, ah then that is a different story. I bowed towards him, "I wonder why the Heavenly Emperor summoned Jin Mi deep in the night?"

  After a long while, besides the sounds of nature that softly flowed by, I did not hear the Heavenly Emperor answer me. I lifted up my head, and only saw his pair of eyes concentrating on me, yet it seemed like he did not look at me, but was looking at someone else through me. Seeing me look confusedly at him, he seemed to regain awareness and smiled, in his smile was a few sense of sadness, a few sense of regret and a few sense of anticipation, he answered without fitting the question, "This is an illusionary realm, in the middle of the valley of Peng Lai God Mountain, gods will occasionally roam here with their souls, sometimes the illusionary realm will occasionally appear in the moral realms, the mortals call it 'the mirage of a city by the sea', thinking it's the mirage created by the gas that is spat out from the sky toad in the ocean. When I first heard of it, I couldn't help laughing, thinking that the mortals speak interestingly. However ninety thousand years ago, when I was travelling in the night, I saw a girl walk on water, with each step a water lily is born, with each step she went farther, faintly moving ahead,  in the midst of the fog her distinguished elegant composure unintentionally glanced back. I finally realised what was the meaning of an illusion, what the mortals meant by 'the mirage of a city by the sea'......."

  The Heavenly Emperor appeared deeply entranced as he gazed at the mist above the water, lightly breathing out a long sigh.

  When one is old they definitely like to reminisce, naturally the Heavenly Emperor is no different from the usual old people, they like to think about the distant past in the middle of the night. Although I was not familiar with the Heavenly Emperor, I may have some relations with him, so I made some effort to chase away the sleepy bug and pretended to be listening attentively with full on interest. But, this "ninety years ago" really made me want to break down, as such a story could not be told finished in just a while. 

  As I was feeling helpless in my heart, the Heavenly Emperor stopped and did not continue to speak. I pondered over it for a while, this seemed like the opera singers in the mortal world, when they sang an exciting part they would make a pose to solidify the impression, only when the audience cried "great" do they continue on. The Heavenly Emperor's pause definitely was waiting for me to respond before he continued, so I casually smiled at him, "Very good, very good."


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

#talk 9: Once Promised and Translations Schedule!




   Hello! Xiao0yuer has announced on her blog that she won't be translating Once Promised anymore and will be looking at other c-novels to translate (haha so go comment on her blog if you have always been desiring for a certain c-novel to be translated haha). 

  I thought I would explain the process here since there have been a few announcements in between and to prevent any confusion about the Once Promised translations. 

  I think I had translated till Chapter 4 of Once Promised and xia0yuer returned to SSB and had interest in translating Once Promised too. So, we tried a round robin system where we would alternate the translations, I will do odd chapters and she will do even chapters. I was going to maintain my summary/translation style, and after xia0yuer started on chapter 6, she decided that she loved all the characters in Once Promised too much and wanted to do full translations. So we tried to continue the round robin, but since we have different translation speeds and xia0yuer couldn't follow a fixed schedule for the round robin, we decided it would be best if we just translated at each of our own pace and both of our blog readers could follow. 

  We tried to work it out so there is no duplication, but it's quite hard because we have our own blogging pace. I told xia0yuer I was perfectly fine though if we duplicated some parts since we have our own translating styles and some readers suggested translating the parts I summarise but xia0yuer decided that her time is better spent on translating another c-novel. 

  So, it's disappointing that we couldn't work out a schedule (so sorry, Once Promised readers!), but I'm sure whatever novel xia0yuer chooses to translate later will be great. So, full support for all her future endeavours! So sorry, that now you are just stuck with my translations/summaries, but if any other blogger is interested in translating Once Promised, please feel free to translate! I really don't mind independent versions of translations since we are all just fans of Tong Hua. 

  Ok, so that's that! I will try to fully translate Once Promised since xia0yuer doesn't plan to anymore! *Cross fingers* That there are more than 24 hours a day. Haha. 

  In other news, I will be extremely busy at work for the next 2 weeks. But, I've already translated the weekly updates of Heavy Sweetness, Once Promised and The Emperor's Strategy in advance (for 2 weeks! I haven't read a new c-novel in ages! Haha). So, I'm scheduling the updates and you may find that sometimes the blog is updated but the comments are not replied to yet. It's because the blog is going to automatically update itself (haha). But, it's always my policy to reply all comments, so I will still reply just at a slower pace. 

  Can't wait for the busy month of April to be over! Tentatively, May should be more free and I'm going to try and really speed up Heavy Sweetness Translations. It's my aim to complete it (shall not state the exact date or the pressure will be too huge). Haha. 

  Till then, take care and thanks for reading :) 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Once Promised (曾许诺)by Tong Hua(桐华): Translation for Chapter 7 (Part 2)



   In this chapter, a character will appear that you might not expect. But what this part really celebrates is Qing Yang's epic bromance......


Chapter 7: If only this scene of beauty will always remain (Part 2)

   After Qing Yang scolded A'Heng finished, his gaze swept towards Chang Yi, Chang Yi immediately lowered his head. 

  A'Heng did not dare to rebut, but she jumped behind Qing Yang's back, and punched and kicked in the direction of his back, while she hit, she would soundlessly scold. Qing Yang suddenly turned around and stared at her, A'Heng immediately pretended that she was just loosening her joints, waving her arm, stretching her leg, as if nothing had happened, she said, "My limbs were all frozen, I need to jump about in case I became paralysed."

  She jumped to Chang Yi's side, "Since it's rare for it to snow in June, let's go catch a deer and roast it to eat, to warm up the coldness in our bodies." She grabbed Chang Yi's hand to go.

  Qing Yang lightly said, "I still have matters to settle." Before his words could settle, his shadow was already far away.

  Chang Yi silently watched his big brother's back, his eyes full of respect, but also a deep sadness.

  A'Heng pulled Fourth Brother's robes, "Forget it, he is always like this, let's play on our own. If he really came, he will definitely scold me for not cultivating well, and also reprimand you for not doing well in your political tasks, in the end, we will all not be happy."

  Chang Yi opened his mouth, as if he wanted to say something, but he swallowed it back in the end. 

  A'Heng and Chang Yi took out the bow and arrow they used when they were young, and went up the mountain to hunt deers. They both agreed not to use any divine energy to search and will only survey the routes themselves.

  A'Heng and Chang Yi searched for many hours, but could not even see a shadow of a deer. They weren't calculating though, while searching around, they would talk.

  Chang Yi surveyingly asked, "What do you think of Shao Hao?"

  A'Heng looked around all four sides then said casually, "What can I think? Doesn't he have one nose and two eyes? Although what I'm really curious about is, if there was indeed a ranking for all the heroes in the realm, what would big brother rank? I heard on Jade Mountain that big brother actually attended the Peach Banquet before, this doesn't sound like his personality."

  Chang Yi laughed and said, "Actually, there was a secret to it. At that time, Gao Xing's Second Prince Yan Long mastered a technique to attack by sound, he could destroy thousand of soldiers ten thousands of horses in one go, not just saying Gao Xing, even the whole wilderness heavily respected Yan Long, but in that year, big brother actually ran to compete in the Peach Banquet, causing Yan Long to suffer a huge defeat at the Peach Banquet, from then on, Xuan Yuan Qing Yang's name started to spread in the great wilderness as someone to respect and fear."

  "A defeat is a defeat, how was it a huge defeat? Did Yan Long offend big brother before?"

   "I don't know, big brother never talks about his own stuff. I secretly guessed that this could be related to Shao Hao. In one year, I was tasked to go Gao Xing, Yan Long's name was spread to the skies, and he was also heavily loved by the Jun Emperor. In front of hundreds of Gao Xing's officials, Yan Long heavily insulted Shao Hao, but one did not know what was Shao Hao thinking because he did not say a word in response, and only quietly accepted it. After I came back, big brother asked me what I saw and heard in Gao Xing. So, I told him about Yan Long and Shao Hao, big brother did not have any reaction when I told him at that time. However, in the second year, he ran to attend the Peach Banquet and humiliated Yan Long in front of the whole great wilderness. The gift that year was a Five Stringed musical instrument made up of Phoenix bones, when he received the treasure, in front of all the god tribes, he asked the envoy for the Gao Xing Tribe to give it to Shao Hao, saying he had lost in a fight to Shao Hao and promised to get him a famous musical instrument."*

   A'Heng sucked her tongue, "Isn't that proclaiming to the whole world that Yan Long didn't even deserve to be Shao Hao's shoe bearer!"


Monday, 7 April 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 3






  Hello readers, I've thought about it and since I have so many favourite scenes, I will be translating pivotal scenes all the way till the end of the novel! It's not going to be full on translations as I'm going to skip bits and pieces here of politicking and what I consider to be the less "interesting" parts. So, if you are interested in following The Emperor's Strategy but can't read chinese, rest assured that if you follow my scene translations you should be able to follow the whole c-novel as I will summarise briefly what goes on in between. I guess, you can view this as decembi's abridged version of The Emperor's Strategy? Haha.

  So, don't fear that I will leave you broken-hearted, because as earlier promised, I will translate properly the ending/epilogue when we reach there and I guarantee that the ending is really good and just the kind of c-novel endings I love <3.

  Once Promised and Heavy Sweetness are official translation projects and will be updated at least once weekly. I haven't quite decided the schedule of The Emperor's Strategy. Sometimes it will be quick, because it's a short cute scene, sometimes it may be longer because the part is just too epic to cut short. Let's play by ear!

  Also, if you are wondering, this novel has 20 chapters and an epilogue. We are now in Chapter 2.

  So, enjoy! If you want to know who I root for, I root for Su Li Li! I like her much more than Jin Mi in Heavy Sweetness haha.

   It starts almost immediately after Scene 2. Su Li Li and Mu Tou spend their days in the Little Coffin Shop as per usual, making coffins and squabbling. Haha.


Scene 3: I won't take offence at women

  So the scene starts with Su Li Li being worried about Uncle Cheng's sickness.


  Although Mu Tou did not say anything, he took over a large part of Uncle Cheng's tasks, every day he worked from morning to night in the courtyard. Su Li Li started to teach him how to use a fengshui ruler to measure the dimensions of the coffin properly, what were the auspicious measurements and what were the inauspicious measurements.


  Mu Tou asked, "Even if the measurements were inauspicious, can it still hurt a corpse?"

  Su Li Li profoundly shook her head, "It can't hurt a corpse. If the coffin's measurement is inauspicious, the corpse can become a zombie."

  Mu Tou in a voice that was not warm nor fiery, "If you don't dig it out, even a zombie corpse cannot do anything."

  Su Li Li rolled her eyes and did not say anything.

  Mu Tou seeing that Su Li Li had nothing to say, his interest was provoked, he casually picked up a long piece of corner material, he straightened into a position, and slantingly hit her forehead. Su Li Li only felt wind blowing between her eyebrows, before she could react, she felt her gaze become blurry, and Mu Tou had already "swoosh swoosh swoosh" with one move touched the twelve main meridians on her whole body. Each meridian was a point that was fatal, and at each point he had just stopped half a cm away*.

  In an instant, Mu Tou resumed his position, Su Li Li stood dazed like an idiot.

  Although Mu Tou's expression was quite satisfied with himself, his face was still stiff, he restrainedly nodded his head then with a flick of his hand, the wood piece flew back into the material stack.

  Su Li Li suddenly awoke, she was furious: "If you have this capability to show off in front of me, then why were you chopped into several little pieces last time, such that I had to spent so much effort to join you back into one person again?!"

  Mu Tou's voice was deep and cold, "Why don't you ask how is the person who injured me?"

  "How?"

  "Dead." Mu Tou lightly said it then turned around to saw the wood.

  Seeing that Su Li Li was open-mouthed and speechless, he darkly added, "Whoever injures me with one knife one sword, I will take his life."

  Su Li Li hesitated for half a moment, seeing him concentrating, she still could not resist interrupting him and said, "That... I seem to have.... hit you before..."

  Mu Tou deeply looked at her, looking until Su Li Li felt her heart skipped, ".... Actually... it was only a joke..."

  Mu Tou did not speak.

  "I was only.... in a moment... furious...."

  All the good words Su Li Li could speak, she said. After she finished, Mu Tou raised his head, he looked half in despised and half in magnanimity, "I won't take offence with women." But in his eyes he could not hide laughter.

  Su Li Li gazed at his eyes and noddingly said, "If that is so, then I must as well hit you."

  She grabbed some wood shavings and threw it at Mu Tou's head. Mu Tou's sleeves seemed to carry the wind, with a swish, the wood shavings flew back onto Su Li Li's body. Su Li Li threw again, Mu Tou swished his robes again.

  After half a day, Su Li Li cried, "No more, no more. Look it's all on the floor."

  After another half a day, Su Li Li cried, "Mu Tou, if you still mess around, I will be angry!"

  Mu Tou kept his hands, Su Li Li didn't bother that her whole body was covered with wood shavings, she grabbed a handful of wood bits and threw it straight on his face.