Saturday, 31 May 2014

Drama Recap: 追鱼传奇 (Mermaid Legend) : The Love Story of The Crown Prince & A Fishing Village Girl (Part 6 of 12)




  This is one of the BEST parts ever for our couple. In episode 17, our smirky hero, Zhan Feng, goes to the coffee shop Tang Xin works at and he is not happy. But why?


Friday, 30 May 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 11




   The Emperor's Strategy has a very clear plot line, which I enjoy. Su Li Li's father was ordered to be killed by the Emperor, similarly, Mu Tou's father was forced to rebel against the Emperor and was killed. Qi Feng Xiang's family has no grudges against the Emperor except for the simple fact that Qi Feng Xiang's family has their eyes on the throne.

  The first 10 scenes covered the 1st arc - where Su Li Li and Mu Tou's past get re-visited on them through Qi Feng Xiang. Now that the Emperor is dead, where lies their future? Where did Mu Tou go?

  And why does Qi Feng Xiang have his eye on Su Li Li? Is it merely interest or something more sinister? In this second arc, Su Li Li gets closer with Qi Feng Xiang, will she emerge unscathed from the experience or will she lose something very valuable instead?


Scene 11: An Invitation

  As the morning arrived, the sun rays lit the yard. Su Li Li held a cloth and it was so wet that it dripped into the pail. She knelt on the floor and used the cloth to delicately clean Uncle Cheng's thin and weak hands. This pair of hands has carried her through the cold wind and rain, had never left her or disdained her.

  Yu Fei knelt by her side, and quietly accompanied her.

  When Su Li Li finished, she threw the cloth back into the pail. She told Yu Fei, "Stand up, carry Uncle Cheng's legs, we will place him in the coffin." Next to them, was the scented cinnamon wood coffin she had actually planned to sell to Mo Da.

  They always said that when the soul leaves the body, the body will become especially heavy. The two of them exerted a large amount of effort before they were able to place Uncle Cheng's slightly stiff body into the coffin.

  Su Li Li arranged his sleeves and flattened his hair. Yu Fei suddenly said, "Father Emperor was like this at that time too." Su Li Li turned to him in surprise, "What did you say?"

  Yu Fei was a little dazed as he said, "Father Emperor and my prince brothers laid like this in the palace, no one cared for them."

  Su Li Li stared at his eyes which were clear and distinguished, they held a weak sense of childishness,there was no trace of his father's brutality in him.

  Yu Fei timidly added, "Su Jie Jie (elder sister), why are you looking at me?"


Drama Recap: 追鱼传奇 (Mermaid Legend) : The Love Story of The Crown Prince & A Fishing Village Girl (Part 5 of 12)



  Between episodes 13 to 15, Justice Bao tries to figure out who is the real Mu Dan and finds out about Hong Ling. Justice Bao pities Hong Ling and Zhang Zhen and wants to figure out a way to save their lives. But Mu Dan's father, the Prime Minister, wants Zhang Zhen dead. The Emperor arrives with a demon spearing sword that causes Hong Ling to disappear, and it is realised that Zhang Zhen was consorting with a sprite. For that, Mu Dan's father wants Zhang Zhen to be ordered to be executed.

 Just as the Emperor was perplexed as to what to do with Zhang Zhen, Zhan Feng arrives and announces his identity as the Crown Prince!


Thursday, 29 May 2014

The Story of Gou Jian: 卧薪尝胆

When posting Gentleman Free-Floating Cloud, the heroine Huang Fu Yun has referred to this legendary character – Gou Jian - on several occasions and I thought to give him a little more mention since many readers of this blog come from a non-chinese background.  In Chapter 7, the author cracked a joke that Wang Yun thought Gou Jian to be a good role model for endurance because she read that he can eat poo when it was bile he tasted.  Can you imagine what kind of endurance she will end up with on such wrong information? ^_^

- Moonblossom -



The Chinese idiom 卧薪尝胆 (wò xīn cháng dǎn) means to become stronger in adversary.  It literally translates to “lying on hay, tasting bile” and has its origins in real story that happened during the Spring Autumn Period (that should be around 3,000 years ago, wow!).

It all started when the Old King of Wu died in battle with the Yue kingdom.  At his deathbed, he ordered his son - Fu Chai - not to forget their defeat.  Years later, the King of Yue, Gou Jian, was captured in battle by Fu Chai who was the King of Wu by then.  As a condition to spare his country and life, Gou Jian became a servant to Fu Chai.  He lived in a stone hut next to the stables where he would take care of the horses, or lead the horses whenever Fu Chai called for his carriage.  After three years, he was allowed to return to his own country.
After his return, he ordered his mattress to be changed to hay, and he hung a gall bladder over his table where he would taste the bitter bile juice every day to remember his humiliation in the Kingdom of Wu.  After a decade of political reforms, the Kingdom of Yue became strong enough to defeat Wu and they annexed the Kingdom of Wu.

There was a beauty in this story too.  Xi Shi (西) was one of the Four Famous Beauties of ancient china, and she was from the Kingdom of Yue.  She was presented to Fu Chai and quickly became his favourite concubine.  Her role was to entice him and distract him away from state matters while the Kingdom of Yue grew steadily stronger.  After Wu was defeated, her ending was not known.  Some said she drowned while others said she left with Fan Li, a minister from the Kingdom of Yue, to live an ordinary life.

Gentleman Free-Floating Cloud (闲云公子) Chapter 7 Part 1 of 2


He seemed to be lost.

Looking at the same scenery for the third time, Gong Sun Yun who has just turned twenty, wrinkled his brow.

There were several black jade stone pillars erected around the natural hot spring. Colourful chiffon cloths hung between the pillars forming the walls of a bath.  There was no roof and whoever in the bath would be able to see the stars, indicating that whoever who built this structure knew how to enjoy life.

He gave up trying to find a way out by the front and walked to the back.  Behind a chiffon curtain was a changing room and behind it was a little lounge.  The hot spring was located at the top of Tian Bi Cliff and unless one possesses excellent qinggong, ordinary folks would not be able to climb to the top.  The other path up the mountain was blocked by a maze filled with poison mist, so he has thought that such a secluded spot would be an ideal place to imprison unruly Sky Slaves. Who would have guessed that it was actually a bath?

He sighed.  He has been asked by the Old Master of Tian He Manor to sneak into Bai Ming Sect to look for He Yue Hua.  It was a thankless task but he has no choice since Cloud Manor was a neutral entity, since his kungfu was good, since he was only twenty and needed to respect the elders…

So what if he was highly skilled?   No one would guess he that he would often get lost, which was why he always need to travel with another Gentleman.  Since no one is perfect, he is not usually bothered by his lack of direction sense until times like now.
It was a secret that Old Master of Tian He Manor has contacted an incurable illness and was unlikely to have long to live.  For this reason, he has agreed to try to look for He Yue Hua and if he failed, he would have tried his best.  But at two hours past midnight, he would be lucky if he could even figure a way out of Bai Ming Sect.

He tucked his long sword into its sheath and cut through the changing room.  Lifting one semi-transparent curtain, he did not expect to find another person inside.  At the sight of a young maiden’s bare back soaking in the hot spring, he quickly turned around in dismay. She was leaning face down on a black jade stone and he did not see what she was doing.


Wednesday, 28 May 2014

#talk 17: Where Are You From?


Source: evilpainter


    One time Moonblossom called my blog a "forum" and this idea really grew in my head. Haha. Slowly, and unknowingly,  a book lovers club has grown on the blog and it's honestly a great feeling. Reading is a solitary activity, but somehow by sharing our views and squealing at key parts together, it has become a communal activity - where bliss is doubled and sorrows shared. 

  In another entry when I asked for comments/feedback on improving the blog, sutekii mentioned being curious about the origins of all the readers and a platform for us to introduce ourselves. So, if you have ever been curious about your fellow readers, please step in as I set out how I started my c-novel journey and invite all of you to share too...

   I only started blogging on 2 Dec 2013, this date is somehow very clear in my head, because everything has grown so tremendously since then. I have read Jing Yong novels (he of the Condor Heroes fame), quite a few taiwanese short novels, but never really stepped into the c-novel craze (the internet novels that brought many China writers fame). Tong Hua was the one who got me curious about the phenomenon with Bu Bu Jing Xing, but I quickly backtracked away from this when I realised how tragic it was and that sad endings were apparently pretty common in this genre. I never looked back until I came across Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost! It was so good and the translations were on hiatus so long, that I started translating it after some help from peanuts in contacting xia0yuer. The rest, I guess you can say, is history.

   I'm from Singapore. I have been asked before what I do for a living, and I'm actually a lawyer. I get asked quite a bit on "how do I manage to write" with my work? Well, I don't usually write at all on week days, and usually only on week ends. The job is honestly very intense, but it's nice to read the comments and reply to them in the day, they are like five or ten minute mental breaks in the day and have become a great pleasure of mine. I also love reading the intense discussions on Moonblossom or my translations - it would be as the koreans say "daebak!" (best!)


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost: Translation (Chapter 13.1: Once So Close, Now Walking The Path of Strangers)




   The first website I was using followed the published book version of Heavy Sweetness (it has 2 books with 24 chapters), it only showed the chapters for Book 1, which was up to Chapter 12. So, now I'm going to follow the website which has the chapters when Dian Xian was updating it as an internet c-novel while trying to divide the chapters according to the titles from Book 2 (I got the titles from douban). When we reach Chapter 13, we are actually at Chapter 38 of the internet version, which has 68 chapters in total (instead of the 24 chapters of the Book Versions). We are reaching the end, my friends!

  I'm going to roughly divide the internet chapters in accordance to what I think fits the book chapter titles. I may make some mistakes along the way in the categorization of the chapters, but the story will be accurate. I plan to order Heavy Sweetness from Dang Dang and will make any edits necessary once I get the book.

   It's only getting better and better from here onwards! :) 

  This part of the chapter is arguably one of the most important Night and Jin Mi Scenes. Night fans enjoy! :)


Chapter 13: Once So Close, Now Walking The Path of Strangers (Part 1 of 2)

   Three or four stems of green bamboo, two sections of banana leaves, one grass curtain. Who would have thought that the backyard of the Four Stars Palace* was only a half bigger than the yard in the Water Boundary. I let out a sigh, pulled out a bamboo stool and sat down.


(*It's Xuan Ji in chinese which indicates the first four stars in the Heavy Dipper).



  On the stone table, there was a paper declaration that was held down by a crystal pi xiu (a mystical beast that is considered a protector) that was prostrated, the paper flew up and down in the night wind, it could not escape, like a butterfly that was extending its wings, I decided to save this declaration, I picked it up and looked at it. It turns out that it was a marriage contract, below there were three names, the two words "Tai Wei"**  were vigorous and forceful, the two words "Luo Lin"*** floated elegantly, then there were the words "Ren Yu"**** which were like the smooth passage of the clouds and flowing waters, but revealed a trace of loftiness and strength.

**Tai Wei is probably the Heavenly Emperor.
***Luo Lin is probably the Water God (Luo is a name of a river, and Lin means the continuous heavy rain).
****Ren Yu is Night's first name.

  "This is the promise made by Father and the High God," The silver light of the moon descended, midway it was blocked by a thick banana leaf, and a shadow fell across Night's face, revealing a blurry warmth, "Four thousand years ago, this was signed at the High God's wedding, now we only need Jin Mi to sign her name."

  I picked up a writing brush and bit its head, thought for a while and wrote down my name.

  When I was writing, Night lowered his head and was watching intently the small red stove next to me that was boiling a pot of tea, in the midst of the bubbling it was not clear what he was thinking. His white robes shone under the moon light, it was so white that it made my teeth itch and in my heart rose a feeling to want to stain it, so I dipped into the ink slate, and while Night was distracted, I drew a flower at the end of his robe sleeve.

  When he regained awareness, the wood has already been made into a boat, I blinked at him. Night smiled when he looked at his sleeves, he wasn't angry, he poured a cup of tea for me and said gently, "This flower is drawn very lively, Night has many plain robes, in future I must bother Jin Mi Immortal to add some colour for me." Night is truly someone with a good temper.

  "Good, good," I squeezed the writing brush and nodded my head continuously.

   Tonight after leaving the Heavenly Emperor's Nine Mist Clouds Palace, Night invited me to his Four Stars Palace for a short visit, saying that the Beauty Night Scent Flower***** that I had given him had just started to sprout, he did not know if it would bloom tonight. Dad had glanced at us, he did not say anything, so I happily agreed to follow Night back.

  The Four Stars Palace was very different from Phoenix's Qi Wu Palace, the walls were white, it was simple and low-key, besides a few small immortal attendants at the door and a bunch of Nightmare Beasts who could not speak, there was no shadow of anyone else, the night was a sheet of silence.

  A small Nightmare Beast, barely about a month old, was timidly lying at Night's feet, its round eyes stared warily at me. I magicked a white cabbage leave in my hands, bent my waist and tried to seduce it, "Be obedient, come and try it." Good habits must be groomed from young, a picky eating Nightmare Beast is not good, who knew that my good intentions were not appreciated by the Little Nightmare Beast, it disdainfully turned its head away.


Drama Recap: 追鱼传奇 (Mermaid Legend) : The Love Story of The Crown Prince & A Fishing Village Girl (Part 4 of 12)




  Between episode 8 to episode 11, there is some strange kidnap attempt by Hong Ling's sea sprites comrades so that Zhang Zhen can "save the day" and rescue Mu Dan. True to form, Mu Dan does start to soften towards Zhang Zhen a little after he rescues her.

   In episode 11, late one night, Mu Dan comes to Zhang Zhen's house. There, she meets Zhan Feng. Zhan Feng had came to have a late night drink with Zhang Zhen but he was not at home.


Monday, 26 May 2014

Gentleman Free-Floating Cloud (闲云公子) Chapter 6 Part 2 of 2

Posted by Moonblossom

The emotional healing seems to have worked, for Wang Yun appears to have accepted some of the Gong Sun guys as family.  But regardless of how she feels towards the others, Gong Sun Yun is in her heart whether she realizes it or not.  Go for it girl! Life is meant to be savored and an emotional wall is only another obstacle that will put true happiness out of your reach. 


Chapter 6 Part 2 of 2

 “Miss.”

She opened her eyes, instinctively on guard.  He Zai’s voice seemed to have come from right beside her ear.  After carefully scrutinizing the dark room, she let out a sigh when she was sure that there was really no one.

Her forehead was beaded in perspiration and she got off the bed for some water.  The oily chicken has lived up to its name and made her thirsty.  She opened her window and saw that the distant lights have been extinguished. 

Although she no longer touches her jade flute or hears the sound of bells behind her, she found herself thinking of He Zai sometimes.

She did not want to stay in her room and decided to take a walk because each blade of glass, each tree in Cloud Manor can help her feel more settled.  Although indulgence is not wise, surely an occasional lapse will not hurt?

She came to the house where Gong Sun Yao was recuperating.  When she saw a light inside, she paused before going in. Although the room was lit, here was no one around. She sat beside the bed and looked down at the sleeping man.  She knew that they were not trying to make her feel guilty by asking her to visit Gong Sun Yao every day. Rather, they were hoping that she would slowly start to view him as family; how could she not see through their intentions? She sighed: “I brought some fried chicken home but was forced to share with Xian Yun.  You guys are weird.  Why are you so fixated on nutrition and living to your seventies or eighties?”

Her lips curved as she continued. “However, I respect your little quirks.  I heard that both of us were sent back to Cloud Manor at the same time.  By right, you are the one who should have woken up, but reality is the other way round.  And to wake up is the same as receiving a new lease of life, is it not?”

He Zai. He Zai.  There were times when she dreamt that they could shake off Sect Leader one day and live peacefully in some remote place like siblings, just the two of them. Of course, she has tried to be realistic most of those times and guessed that there would only be her in the end, and ultimately, reality has proven her right.

“Xian Yun has asked me several times to become his sworn sister, do you think I should accept?”  At this, she cannot help but smile.  Since the age of ten, she has been forced to accept He Zai as her Sky Slave.  In order to survive, the young her has tried all ways endear herself to a much bigger sixteen year-old.  On the surface, both appeared to depend on each other although the truth of it was that their relationship could never measure up to that with his blood brother.  Because she has been so busy being wary, it has never crossed her mind about entering into any relationships.

“Xian Yun seems to have developed a liking for me, but where did it stem from?”  What has he seen when she was fourteen?

Even if he has seen her naked, she does not believe that he is the kind of man who will take responsibility for a woman if he is not really willing.  Although he appears very solicitous on the surface, she has come to realize that he has very distinct likes and dislikes. She even thought he could be mildly mysophobic. For instance, she noticed that he would not touch a dish during mealtimes if someone else other than his family has eaten from it.  But since he eats with her and other Gentlemen, does it imply he sees her as part of his family?

She likes the idea but knows she cannot dwell too much on it. Her conclusion after half a year is that Gong Sun Yun is like an addictive drug and it will be hard to disengage herself if she really fell for him. 

Although she likes his looks and the peaceful days.

There was a soft sound behind her but before she could turn behind, she noticed that the person on the bed has opened his eyes and was looking at her strangely. He is awake. Awake!


Sunday, 25 May 2014

Once Promised (曾许诺)by Tong Hua(桐华): Translation for Chapter 9 (Part 3)


    Life is made out of choices. No matter how long your life is, you will always be met with irrevocable choices. The idea of "destiny" and "fate" plays a big part in mythology, but many times fate is merely a choice that the characters cannot avoid. The time has come for monumental choices that will change the fates of everyone in Once Promised...



Chapter 9: Heal the world but not one's self (Part 3 of 4)


  The sound of the water boiling broke the silence. A'Heng quickly boiled the tea and hurriedly served the tea onto the table, "I will go and see what Ah Bi and the sika deer is playing". She wanted to leave the situation.


  Chi You made her sit next to him, "You have the right to know why you have been poisoned." He gave a challenging glance towards the Yan Emperor, "Shi Fu, if you wanted to kill me, why do you still keep me?"

  The Yan Emperor smiled at A'Heng and said, "Do you know how did Chi You become my only disciple?"

 A'Heng shook her head.

 The Yan Emperor held a tea cup and he gazed out of the window, "A few hundred years ago, at a government meeting, the official in charge of the South West said that the low class citizens of Jiu Yi were rebelling, they actually killed hundreds of people from the noble tribe and a member of the god tribe. Because my heart at that time was troubled by Yao Ji's illness, I ordered Yu Wang to take charge of this. A hundred years later, Zhu Rong reported to Yu Wang that it turns out the chaos from Jiu Yi came from a demon monster of unknown origins, because it had learned the ways of Nature, it could control the beasts and the Jiu Yi Tribe called it the Beast King, but it was more cruel and fierce than the tigers or leopards. Yu Wang pitied the low class Jiu Yi citizens and did not bear to kill the wild beast. But the wild beast was not obedient and had seriously injured tens of generals. For this, Yu Wang and Zhu Rong fought furiously, I found out about the killings by the wild beast, scolded Yu Wang and agreed for Zhu Rong to kill Jiu Yi's Beast King."

  A'Heng had already guessed the wild beast was Chi You, although this matter had already passed, her heart still felt anxious and tense, Chi You had actually ran for his life for a hundred years from the skilled pugilists from the God Tribe, no wonder when he hid himself, even Big Brother with his great divine strength could not find him.

  The Yan Emperor drank a sip of tea, he rested then continued his story, "I thought this matter had come to an end, but turns out that deep in the night, Yu Wang suddenly asked to see me, saying that the Jiu Yi Tribe had surrendered, they were willing to be low class servants generations after generations, the only condition was to spare their Beast King. Yu Wang painfully begged for me to command the return of Zhu Rong, I couldn't help becoming curious about this wild beast, so I rushed to Jiu Yi that night. I found them at a marsh - the situation was dangerous and yet funny, the wild beast had used himself as a bait and attracted the rash and proud Zhu Rong into the poisonous marsh. Inside were thousands of different kinds of poisonous worms, a few god generals had been poisoned, although Zhu Rong could had set fire to burn the wild beast to death, but if he had set the fire, this will cause the marsh energy accumulated for ten thousands of years in the marsh to explode, Zhu Rong is protected by his fire spirit and will only suffer light injuries, but the other god generals will die. At that time, Zhu Rong was cursing loudly saying that he must break the bones of the wild beast and incinerate him into ashes, the wild beast couldn't really speak, it only gritted its teeth and gave a cry, it kept beating his chest as if saying, come come, come and burn me to death!"


Saturday, 24 May 2014

Drama Recap: 追鱼传奇 (Mermaid Legend) : The Love Story of The Crown Prince & A Fishing Village Girl (Part 3 of 12)




  In Episode 8, the plot chugs along. Hong Ling wants to matchmake Mu Dan and Zhang Zhen together because she wants the red marriage ball between the bride and groom in a traditional chinese wedding for a gift to the Dragon King, and so her brilliant plan is to... ahem... impersonate Mu Dan and meet Zhang Zhen nightly. Yes, I can't say I appreciate the logic of the main plot much.

  In more interesting developments, Zhan Feng is milking his injury for all he can get out of Tang Xin...


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 10


   Although Su Li Li is still in male disguise, I liked this picture that shows her alone, gazing around with lanterns around her. It does not reflect what happens in this scene, but I like to think of it as a reflection of her soul.

  We have come to Scene 10, which marks the end of Chapter 3. This is one of my longest translations ever - there's so much going on and it's so powerful and intense that I couldn't stop. This was also one of the hardest translations I ever had to do --- I won't spoil it here, so I shall see you on the other side. 

  This is the game-changer. This changes it all. 


Summary: 


  It has been two days since Scene 9 when Su Li Li got drunk (it's unclear if she remembers what happened, but it is hinted that she does!). Su Li Li caught a cold that night and it took two days for her to recover. When she recovered, Uncle Cheng tells her that Mu Tou has gone with Teacher Zhang to a temple. Su Li Li was angry since they are rushing goods but Uncle Cheng says that he should be given a day off.

 The next day afternoon, Su Li Li was going through the account books with Mu Tou when Qi Feng Xiang arrives at her coffin shop. Qi Feng Xiang dashingly arrives and calls her, "Boss Su". Su Li Li asks if he has come to give her business and Qi Feng Xiang nods his head. He orders a coffin, the material is standard, it needs to be wide so it can fit a fatty, the most important thing is that seven words must be carved on top of the coffin, "A Corrupt Worm That Robs The Country".

 Su Li Li asks for one thousand taels as deposit. Qi Feng Xiang teases if Su Li Li is trying to run away with such a huge sum of money. Su Li Li protests if she seems like a thief, and even if she was, would she run away with just a thousand taels? Qi Feng Xiang says someone will send the deposit. He will be returning to You Zhou tomorrow and will collect the goods in the tenth month. 

  Before Qi Feng Xiang leaves, he turns to Mu Tou, "Is this Mo Da from the tailor shop?" Without even lifting up her head, Su Li Li says, "I lied to you, he is called Mu Tou". Qi Feng Xiang breaks out into laughter, "That is a good name, looking at his expression, his personality fits his name." 

  Mu Tou personally made the coffin Qi Feng Xiang ordered - he even added some curses he found in the library and carved it inside the coffin. Su Li Li was curious and wondered who the person was since he did not want this person to ever reincarnate. Mu Tou only said, "Since it's A Corrupt Worm That Robs The Country, naturally he should not reincarnate."

  At the start of the ninth month, Su Li Li found it hard to sleep. During her sleep, she thought she felt a few slightly cold fingers touch her face. When she woke up, she found a white paper under her pillow, it was clearly Mu Tou's words, it said, "Do not trust Qi Feng Xiang". 

  Su Li Li dashed out of her room, she opened the door to Mu Tou's room and saw that it was arranged neatly and the windows were clean, on his bed was the sword Su Li Li bought for Mu Tou. Uncle Cheng came to her and told her Mu Tou had bade farewell to him last night. He said he needed to go and you needed to be extremely careful. Su Li Li cursed "white-eyed wolf" and couldn't find the energy to curse anymore. 

  7 days later, the Imperial Adviser (sometimes called Grand Tutor, kind of like the Prime Minister and this was the same position Su Li Li's father held previously) Bao Hui has killed the Emperor and taken over the throne, the nine gates of the capital were shut and there were soldiers everywhere. Since Su Li Li was locked inside the city, naturally she did not know that the states outside were rebelling in protest and claiming independence without the Emperor. Finally, the lands has fallen into chaos.

  On the thirteenth day of the ninth month, Su Li Li found it hard to sleep. There were guards everywhere and the Imperial Adviser had ordered that any rebels will be killed. All the great households had closed their doors. Su Li Li was happy that the corrupt Emperor was dead, probably the happiest thing that happened in these last few years. In the silence, she hears knocks on her door. It is Teacher Zhang, he has brought a young child of eight or nine years old with him. Teacher Zhang says he has a matter which requires him to risk his life and escape from the city and asks them to take care of his distant relative's child. The child's name was Yu Fei. 

  Ten more days later, Su Li Li silently guards her stall. Yu Fei was also silent, like a tail, he followed Su Li Li, as if he was an abandoned small dog that was seeking his owner. Su Li Li naturally had a soft heart, so she treated him sincerely. 

  Food was scarce in the capital and the streets were chaotic. The Imperial Adviser had killed the entire royal line, and still felt it was not enough, so he has moved his killing intents to the streets - anyone he disliked, he would order to be killed. During this time, everyone who wanted their lives hid at home.

  At the start of the tenth month, news spread that there were armies outside who had arrived to avenge the Emperor's death. The capital's strength was weak, so the Imperial Adviser set fire to the city gates. Suddenly, the once rich and bustling capital turned into a hell on earth. 

  Half of Su Li Li's shop was burned, but she was not affected by this, she just changed the door inside of her place into the new main door. Su Li Li decided to go out to find Uncle Cheng as he has still not returned. She told Yu Fei to hide and left with the sword she bought for Mu Tou in her hands. When she was outside, she passed the Ming Yue Brothel and she saw that half of the Brothel had collapsed. She stood outside the door and cried for Yan Huan. She was informed that someone had redeemed her in the previous month. No one knew where she went. 


Friday, 23 May 2014

Gentleman Free-Floating Cloud (闲云公子) Chapter 6 Part 1 of 2

Apparently, Deity also knows that Wang Yun is immune to his smiles and cheery voice, so he arranged a moonlight date to charm our heroine. Luckily for him, Wang Yun brought her own food to the party, else I can’t imagine how she would be impressed with his version of dinner - which consisted of healthy food that she doesn’t like.



The obsession with white or coloured hankies came up for the last time, and we find out why the writer is forever writing about them.  There is actually a reason for using Kleenex over Scott? Read on to find out.


 - Moonblossom


Chapter 6 Part 1 of 2


She has been conned!  From what she can see in the last six months, Cloud Manor is definitely not what it appears to be.


As she strolled across the bridge, Little Brother Jiang will blow out the lights behind them until the entire bridge is engulfed in darkness.

A normal person would not take an unlit path and the people of Cloud Manor have used this psychology to find their quiet moments among the bevy of visitors.  Just last month, she was forced to witness this first-hand when Gong Sun Zhi got the kitchen to prepare a herbal feast and invited all the Gentlemen (including her) to dine at Double Cloud Pavilion by employing this tactic to keep out uninvited guests. 

“Big… Big Sister.  I will make a move first.”  Little Brother Jiang was red-faced and grabbing a lantern from a concealed cupboard at the end of the bridge, he headed back the now-darken path.  As she strolled to Double Cloud Pavilion, she found her host, who has fallen asleep while waiting for her.

He looked very good in white with his hand supporting his forehead as if taking a short nap.  His long hair has unbound behind his back and when the wind gently blew on it, the image is rather surreal.  When still, he did resemble a deity. What a pity...

He opened his eyes and smiled when he saw her. “You are finally here.”

“You could eat first if you are hungry.”

His smile widened and he looked rather adorable.  So adorable in fact, she could see his tiger tooth. Did she see wrongly?  Deities are not supposed to have dimples or cute canines right?

“Why is Wu Bo so formal with me when we are family?  Quick, bring out the stuff.”

She reminded herself that she is now staying under his roof.  Taking a deep breath, she took out a small bamboo basket.  “Here is the soy-sauce fried chicken.  Remember to get rid of the evidence after you eat.”  She did not want to ask how he could guess her every move.

He cut up the chicken with a small knife and gave her half: “Did you hear anything interesting at the restaurant today?”

“Nothing much of interest.”

“The restaurant is a place rife with idle talk.  But with Gu Shao De and the disciple from Huang family, they would have likely talk about more serious matters?”

She gave the matter some thought. “Well, they mentioned the possibility of Hai Tang Fairy marrying Tu San Long.”

“I was about to bring this up to you as well.  The Dengs are keen to form an alliance with Tu San Long and the wedding will definitely take place.  Cloud Manor will be there at their wedding and if you are feeling better by then, do attend the wedding as well.”

“Gentleman, although the flowers have fallen for the river, the river does not  feel the same and flows mercilessly on…”

He gave her a meaningful look and did not reply.  She took another deep breath. 

“Xian Yun, although the flowers have fallen for the river, the river does not  feel the same and flows mercilessly on.  For all that is said and done, Hai Tang Fairy is the No. 1 beauty of the pugilist world, do you really have no feelings for her?”


Thursday, 22 May 2014

Drama Recap: 追鱼传奇 (Mermaid Legend) : The Love Story of The Crown Prince & A Fishing Village Girl (Part 2 of 12)




  I have been practically camping in office these few days with the deluge of work. :( Still, taking short 5 mins break here and there, and discussing with readers about books and dramas does provide some relief :).

  In episode 4, Zhang Zhen is heading to the capital with his recently widowed mother (not actual mother, but aunt who had taken care of him since he was young and married his father after he died). Tang Xin runs after them and asks to follow them, since her uncle and auntie can't be bothered with her anyway. So, they all head off to the capital...



Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost: Translation (Chapter 12.4: The Flower of the Descending Frost)



 With this, we come to the end of Part 1 of the book. It's pretty fitting because everything starts to change from this point onwards, whether you view this as a tragedy or a comedy (I assure you this is a happy ending), everything starts from here. 



Chapter 12: The Flower of the Descending Frost (Part 4 of 4)


  The Heavenly Emperor looked at me with unlimited longing and regret, "Who would have thought you were the daughter of the Water God."


  Daddy's left hand held my hand and he moved back a step, he gazed at the Heavenly Emperor, his eyes did not have his usual gentle attitude, his right hand flicked in his robes, the Heavenly Empress suddenly stood up, her brows furrowed and anxious.

  In this tense atmosphere, Night suddenly cried out, "Royal father's meaning... unless Jin Mi is the great Water God's daughter?" His gaze was full of disbelief, full of joyful surprise and also relief, his expressions kept switching between these emotions, ever since I knew Night, I had never seen him so emotional before.

  "Indeed," The Heavenly Emperor looked at Night then looked at me, "Since Jin Mi is the oldest daughter of the Water God, she is also the wife you have yet to marry."

  Dad's brows furrowed, he seriously looked at Night. Night's earnest eyes were fastened on me, as if they were filled with something that was waiting to burst out, his mouth was curved into a handsome and elegant smile. Since he gave me a peach, I returned a plum* and also smiled back at him. A moment later, Daddy seemed to have made a decision in his heart, he forcefully retracted his right hand in his sleeve, his cool gaze appeared to be suppressing and tolerating something.**

  Suddenly, I felt a cold prickling behind my neck, as if something had slid passed me. I turned back, it turns out my hairpiece had naturally fallen, my long hair losing this support had fallen down in a moment. One stem of golden Phoenix Feather fell through my hair and revealed a lonely curve as it fell to the floor. I did not know if it was the dimness of the light in the night, the usually glowing Phoenix Feather which now laid in the middle of the White Jade Palace, it actually gave off the mistaken feeling of vulnerability that it had fallen to the ground and had been grounded into dirt and dust.

  I anxiously picked up the Phoenix Feather in my palm, I turned to look at Phoenix, my heart strangely rose a guilty and empty feeling like I had just done something wrong. I remember that when I left house this morning I had fastened it tightly into my hair, why had it loosened and fallen off? This Phoenix Feather was extremely precious, I would be in real trouble if Phoenix had seen it dropped to the floor, he will surely be very angry. 

  I fearfully looked at Phoenix, but saw that his gaze was a sheet of blackness as he looked at me, so quiet as if it was a solitary falling leaf, with no ripple nor tremors.

 I have always thought that no matter what Phoenix wore, even if it was dark or light, it cannot hide his dazzling aura. I have even seen him without his clothes and his dominating aura was undiminished. But today in his robe of dark black with a tinge of red, he gave out a fragile feeling under the dying embers of the lantern lights, as sad as the musical string that had broken.


Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Hua Xu Yin Fanfiction: My Ending For Song Ning




  Thank you everyone for your warm encouragement for my alternative ending for Shen An. With that encouragement, I decided to also write my alternative ending for Song Ning which was inspired by the Da Mo Yao theme song, White Haired Poem/Song (click here).

  I can't take credit for what I have written below, for many of these words below are Tang 7's words, only re-imagined by me, for Song Ning. 

“倘若命运要被虚无的东西左右,这虚无至少要强大得能够具体,比如信仰,比如权力,而不是一个梦境。” 

"If destiny must be controlled by nothingness, this nothingness must at least be strong enough to take form, for example faith, or strength, and not only remain a dream state." - Jun Fu 

她说:“君拂,爱一个人这样容易,恨一个人这样容易。”

"She said: 'Jun Fu, Loving someone is so simple, hating someone is also so simple.'" 



  Jun Fu and Xiao Lan are already in Song Ning's dreamscape:

(i) 

   When Shen An entered the waterside pavilion, he was surprised to see an elegantly dressed man reading a book with a writing brush behind his ear and more shockingly, a tiger sitting next to him. 

  Jun Wei lifted up his head and scrutinised this stranger up and down. "From your obnoxious eyebrows, you must be Song Ning's husband."

  Shen An lifted up one of his brows, "And you are?"

  "I am a novelist," Jun Wei smiled, then stroke the tiger next to him, "I must say that your story with Song Ning is pretty epic, provides for good inspiration."

  Shen An took a step forward and spoke icily, "Who are you to Song Ning?"

  "A mere passerby and yet one of the few who would send her off on her last journey," Jun Wei said as the tiger growled at Shen An, "Good Xiao Hu, Good Xiao Hu."

  "Last journey?" Shen An asked, his eyes slightly dazed as if a quiet dread was slowly revealing itself in his eyes. 

  "Yes, Song Ning doesn't have much longer to live anyways, so she has traded the last remnants of her life for a good dream," Jun Wei said slowly, watching Shen An carefully, "But why do you care? It's a bit too late to want to open your eyes and ears now after seven years."

  "Or have you finally realised who the true heroine is?" Jun Wei laughed, "Who rode a horse for days, tossed thousands of corpses, to find you in the wasteland of death? Who hugged you in the cold, and in the darkness and fear, she cried, 'Shen Ah, I am scared'."

  Shen An did not speak. 

  "I guess the two of you make a perfect pair, one deaf and one mute," Jun Wei said, nodding thoughtfully.

  Jun Wei was a swordsman, but he prided himself as having killed more people with words instead, "Or are you blind instead? She has never hated you, and there will be no other girl in this world, who will love you as she did."


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Gentleman Free-Floating Cloud (闲云公子) Chapter 5 Part 2 of 2

The more I translate Gentleman Free-Floating Cloud, the more I like Gong Sun Zhi.  I swear, this guy is the most lovable nag - so long as he is not nagging at me - and be it Jiang Wu Bo or Wang Yun, she is no match for him. 

In this chapter, we learn more of her life in Cloud Manor and flashback to what happened 6 months ago in that rocky valley.  She seems to be recovering well  but we all know her emotional scars run much deeper that her physical injuries.  To Gong Sun Yun's credit, everyone in his family treats Wu Bo well and try their best to to wear her down, little by little, until the day she can trust them as her family.

 - Moonblossom -





Chapter 5 Part 2 of 2


Every evening, Jiang Wu Bo will visit a particular courtyard where a Gentleman will be standing guard.  When he saw her, he greeted: “Miss Wu Bo, I am wondering where you are when I was told you have gone to the restaurant.  I remember you could barely walk two months ago and although it is good you have regained your mobility, do remember not to overexert yourself and break Fifth Brother’s reputation (as a healer).”

“Thank you, Fourth Gentleman for your advice.”

She waited in a corner and after a while, Gong Sun Yun appeared from the inner room.  His forehead was beaded in perspiration despite the cool spring weather.  Fourth Gentleman took in his appearance and sighed. “Is everything still the same?”

“It is good that it is still the same.  Perhaps he would wake up tomorrow.”  When Gong Sun Yun spotted her, he gave her a smile and bade her to enter the room where Gong Sun Zhi was  waiting for her.

When she entered the room, she noticed that the medicine bowl was empty. Gong Sun Yun must have fed the patient his medicine after transferring his energy to him.  She moved a stool to the bedside and looked at the person lying on the bed.  “Let us begin.”

Gong Sun Zhi started speaking to the person on the bed: “Ah Yao, I am Fifth Brother and I am here to see you.”

“Ah Yao, I am Wu Bo and I am here to see you.”

“You have lain here for half a year and it is time for you to wake up.  If you do not wake soon, the other brothers are going to laugh at my poor doctoring skills.”

She repeated after him “You have lain here for half a year and is time for you to wake up.  If you do not wake soon, the other brothers are going to laugh at his poor doctoring skills.”

Gong Sun Zhi went on to talk about his day. “Ah Yao, Xian Yun and I have skipped breakfast in order to rush home.  Lunch was only some buns.” 

“Ah Yao, I…. ate at the restaurant today.”

Gong Sun Zhi look thoughtfully at her while he continued. “For lunch, Xian Yun and I had wheat buns.  When in the jianghu, sometimes there is really no choice, and one cannot take nutritious meals all the time.”

“Ah Yao… I let the waiter ordered for me today.  He served me the oiliest fried soy sauce chicken and the crispiest baked biscuits.  I was powerless to resist, so I ate them all.  When you wake up, you would be able to try it.”  End of report.

“Miss Jiang had a sumptuous lunch?”

She was very polite. “You are too humble.  After getting used to the food at your manor, the food outside is simply too oily for words.”

“Since it is oily, you should take something bland for dinner.  Please join us for dinner at Double Cloud Pavilion tonight.”

She thanked him and stayed another hour talking to the unconscious man on the bed.  By the time she left, the skies had turned a dusky grey and night was falling.  Because of the recent increase in visitors, there were more lamps being lit at night which will be extinguished the next morn.  She gave some thought to the cost of candles, which should have cost the manor a pretty penny, but the people here seemed contented to see money burn.  Where did Cloud Manor get its money?

Originally, she has thought that the people of Cloud Manor would be a thrifty lot behind their glamorous front.  However, she found it is not the case.  She guessed Gong Sun Yun could have discovered a gold mine.

Someone tugged at her sleeve.  When she looked down, she saw a little boy who was her supposed younger brother looking at her.  “Big..big..big sister..” He was barely eight and still has some baby fat. “Fourth Gentleman invites you to dine at Double Cloud Pavilion.  Before you go there, he would appreciate it if you can make an appearance at the ladies quarters.”

Although not exactly willing, she nodded. “Sure.”

When living under another’s roof, it is best to do as one is told.  Just take her ‘brother’ for instance; he was a newly-accepted disciple in the manor but he has to take on a new identity to lend credence to her cover story. Never mind, she could tolerate such a small matter. If Cloud Manor wanted to fake something to such an extent, she could comply, no problem.