Sunday, 4 May 2014

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

Moonblossom:- Hello everyone!  Firstly, thank you for all your encouraging notes. Today's chapter continues to be light and funny so come join in the fun with me.  

Appearance is a major theme of this story and everywhere you turn, things are not quite as they seem. Today, we are introduced to another character whose appearance is not quite what our heroine expected. Come to think of it, it would have been more apt if I have pasted a picture of Mr Bean's version of Whistler's Mother instead of a pretty girl.  Maybe I'll do it next time.

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Chapter 2 – Part 1 of 2

She has miscalculated. She should not have hankered after the warm morning breeze and chosen this secluded spot in the courtyard to take a nap...

“Xian Yun, will you be coming to my dad’s birthday party next month?”

“Xian Yun will definitely be there to congratulate Elder Deng on his sixtieth birthday.  If Xian Yun cannot make it, Cloud Manor will arrange for another person to be there, so Miss Hai Tang (海棠) [meaning: Asiatic Apple blossom, a type of ornamental flower] need not worry.” 

The delivery was so polite, it only made his rejection all the more pronounced.  The old tree besides her has blocked her from the view of the new comers but it did not block their voices.

Hai Tang, Hai Tang... now she remembered where she heard this name.  When He Rong Hua came to look for He Zai this morning, he has intentionally mentioned the name in her presence. According to him, Deng Hai Tang was the No. 1 Beauty in the pugilist world and she was here at Tian He Manor.  Because she was so beautiful, her nickname was Hai Tang Fairy.

She perked up at the mention of such a pretty nickname but was quickly put back in place when He Rong Hua gave her a faint look of disdain. She touched her heavily painted face and thought that although the exotic make-up has obscured her original looks, it should have helped in making her look attractive.  If He Rong Hua looked down on her looks, did it mean that his Fairy would live up to her nickname?

Her curiosity got the better of her and she stuck her head around the tree to check out the man and woman in the courtyard.  The man was back-facing her but she recognized him as the deity-from-nine-heavens from his silver white robes.  Although Deity’s looks were only above-average, he carried himself very well and it was pleasant just staring at his back.

As for the woman… she blinked her eyes.  She was a rare beauty, but… shouldn’t a Fairy be prettier? 

Rumors were indeed exaggerations of the truth.  If she had been disappointed with the deity-from-nine-heavens; she had urge to cry when she saw this flower nymph.  If she were ten years younger, her utterly disappointment could have driven her to rebel and become a demoness for real. 

Turning back, she decided to continue napping.  When she was looking at the couple, she had felt the emotional distance between the two despite their physical closeness.  And the distance was intentionally put there by deity-from-nine-heavens.

“Xian Yun… you are twenty-six this year… do you not wish to…”

“Miss Deng,” His voice was polite as ever. “it is not that I do not wish to marry.  I have met many ladies in the Central Plains but none of them is the one I want.”  In other words, he is not the least bit interested even if you are the No. 1 Beauty.  Wang Yun could almost hear his impatience, which was getting more and more palpable.

“Not even I… even I…”

This time, his words were even more direct: “Hero is a definite match for Beauty, but Xian Yun can never be your  hero.”

Hai Tang was not giving up. “Xian Yun, you said that you have not met the girl you like in the Central Plains. Are the rumors true then that the one you like is Che Yan Yan from Bai Ming Sect?  You hoard your smiles from everyone but you smiled at Che Yan Yan…”

Wang Yun nearly fell off from her railing. Deity-from-nine-heavens with man-lover Che Yan Yan? What a good match!

Still, she did not wish to eavesdrop further and risk endangering her life.  If she did not know what they were talking about, all this would naturally become none of her business.  But how should she escape?  Climb a tree, or try to sneak out?

In the end, she chose to stay put and tune out all conversation happening around her.  With her eyes closed, she discovered that she was actually quite tired and she slowly slipped into slumber.  

When she was young, she had feared that Sect Leader would poison her, so she tried consuming small amounts of poison every day to increase her tolerance level for toxin. Unfortunately, she could not bear the pain and gave up the training eventually.  She was at fault for being lazy and thinking that she could depend on He Zai to keep poison at bay. In the end, the person closest to her was the one who poisoned her…

She was unaware of dozing off but when she woke up, the surroundings were quiet.  She should be relieved that she managed to remain undetected but something made her uneasy and she opened her eyes abruptly.  And saw someone beside her.

A polite voice floated down. “Miss Wang is awake.”

Thank goodness she has mastered her poker face!  She sighed inwardly and greeted Gong Sun Yun, who was leaning against another railing. 

His refine air was really much more attractive than his looks.  Looking at him, she thought that his eyes were probably his best feature - had they not look like stagnant pools from the utter lack of any emotion in them.  Where was the x-factor that that has charmed everyone?  What did Hai Tang Fairy and Che Yan Yan see in him? Is it for his talent or status?  She decided to feign innocence and asked drowsily: “Have I fallen asleep?”

“You have been sleeping for a while. Probably soon after I have rejected Miss Deng.” 

This man was indeed highly skilled in kungfu to be able to discern the changes in her breathing pattern.  She stared at him for a while before saying slowly: “Gentleman Xian Yun, it was not my intention to eavesdrop.”  It was best to make this absolutely clear in case he bear a grudge.

“I know Miss Wang did not mean to eavesdrop, or you would not have fallen asleep.  Can you give me your hand and let me take your pulse?”  Seeing her surprise, his lips curved up involuntarily before he resisted the urge to smile. “Although my Fifth Brother is better then me in the arts of healing, I also have a little medical knowledge as a practitioner of martial arts.”

Since it was unlikely that he would kill her by holding her hand, she graciously extended her right hand for him.

“Is it not convenient to give me your left hand?”

“My Sky Slave bangle is worn on my left hand and I worry that Gentleman Xian Yun will take offence.”

He placed his fingers gently above her pulse and asked: “Sky Slave bangles are usually worn on both hands for woman.  Why did Miss Wang only have one?”

“Sigh. Protector Huang Fu was the one who put it on for me.  In any case, I could only obey if she wishes to put ten bangles on me. How would I dare to have asked why?”

“Who is the person who gave you your medicine today?”

“He Zai prepared the medicine personally so Gentleman Xian Yun need not worry that someone would poison me again.”

She knew she was a patient person, but wasn’t Deity taking too long with her pulse? 

Finally he removed his hand.  “There is nothing wrong with Miss Wang now.  I remembered that the medication prescribed by Fifth Brother consist three-fifths of herbs that are able to remove poison, and two-fifths of herbs that aims to strengthen the body. Gauging by the time now, Miss Wang should be down to your last two packets of medicine.”

She was a little taken back.  He had paid a lot of attention, down to the contents of her medication.  Wasn’t she merely a Sky Slave?  What had drawn him to her?  Thinking back on yesterday, he was also the first person to realize that she has been poisoned. If he was not focusing on her, he could not have reacted the moment she fainted.

She was still trying to think of a reason for his attention when she noticed that he has taken out a handkerchief.  The hanky was pristine white and has neither words nor pattern - ah, so Deity has a cleanliness streak!  But even if her skin is the color of honey, surely she is not filthy?  Did he need to wipe his hands quite so slowly and thoroughly?

“Miss Wang is looking at my handkerchief… do you need it?”

 “Thank you, there is no need. I have my own.”  And she took out her own colorful hanky.   Every year, she would change the design of her hankies. Last year’s design was mandarin ducks, the year before was chrysanthemum.  She noticed he was staring at her hanky.  Was something wrong?

It hit on her suddenly that when Gong Sun Yun was talking to Deng Hai Tang, he was polite but aloof and would refer to himself as “Xian Yun”.  However when talking to her, he would use “I” to refer to himself. 

She has learnt to be wary when a person deviates from his normal behavior.  Especially when the abnormality involved her, her inner alarm would go into double duty.  She jumped down from her resting spot and smiled at him. “Gentleman Xian Yun has been very kind and I shall not thank you verbally.  Instead, I will remember the care and concern that you and Fifth Gentleman has showered on me in my heart, and will not forget it even when I am back in Bai Ming Sect.”

“A Sky Slave could not have left Bai Ming Sect without his Master’s consent.  Is Miss Wang sure you could return?”

She blinked. “Who said I did not have my Master’s permission?  I have Left Protector’s blessing to be here!”  There was a saying in the Central Plains that it never hurt to have more manners, so she bade her leave politely.  Just when she turned around she heard him called her name.

She plastered on a smile before she turned around to face him and saw him walking towards her.  For a moment, she was struck by his way he moved with his robes billowing behind him.  The phrase "graceful as wild geese; fluid like dragon; in splendor brighter than the autumn chrysanthemum; in bloom more flourishing than evergreen pines" suddenly popped into her mind.  This phrase was from a poetic essay she read in her younger days describing the beautiful Water Fairy, Luo Shen.  At that time, she has thought if there ever was a beauty like the one described in the poem, she would likely come from the Central Plains, which was why she was so interested to check out Deng Hai Tang earlier.

It was a pity that Deng Hai Tang fell short of her expectations for the Water Fairy but here was a man that she thought would fit the bill.  If He Zai knew about this, would he laugh at her for misuse of language?  How could the description for the Water Fairy be used on a man?

He called her name again and jolted her out of her daze.  She looked at the bright sun hanging overhead, and blinked several times to clear her vision so that the person she saw in front of her was simply Gong Sun Yun.  The illusion was probably caused by a combination of the sun and the fact that she had not fully recovered.  Otherwise, if a man was the Water Fairy, what could she a woman, be?

She smiled and finally replied him: “Gentleman Xian Yun, is anything else the matter?”

He took out a small box from his vest. “Has Miss Wang guessed who poisoned you?”

“I was foolish to believe that there were only righteous heroes in this place, and did not expect someone to poison me.  As for the culprit… sigh, since I am in the Central Plains, I think it is best for me to let the matter rest.”  She decided to deflect all suspicions to the righteous pugilists.

He did not argue. “If that is the case, you have be more careful.  This is the Thousand Cleansing Pill that could neutralize a thousand type of poison.  Please keep it in case you have a need for it one day.”

She was amazed and did not take the offered box immediately.  Not only are they big on etiquette in the Central Plains, it also extend to offering gifts?  After a while, she smiled and said: “Thank you for your concern.  However, I could not accept such expensive medicine...”

“If you are unfortunate enough to be poisoned again, your body will get hurt even if the person has held back.  If you think you could have been poisoned, take one pill immediately.  Even if it could not neutralize the poison, it will help protect your vital organs.”

She understood his hidden meaning – the person who poisoned her was someone close to her.  Finally she could understand why a flock of beauties have fallen for him.  This man was obviously a very caring person.  She believed some famous people viewed the wulin as their home and felt a sense of duty to undertake a parental role... and he was probably one such parent-cum-cleanliness-freak!

She looked at the box and smiled.  “Thank you very much for kindness then.  Should there be a day that Gentleman needs my help, please do not hesitate to tell me.”  She did not believe a father figure would ask a little Sky Slave for help.  Besides, it may not be easy to find her once she disappeared from here. 

She tried to take the box with both hands but found that he was exerting his hold on the box.  She knew something was up but she did not meet his eyes and waited for him to speak. “Actually, we are only helping each other.  A long time ago, a young lady has helped me too.”

Surely she did not need to know about his past?

“Perhaps to her, it was just a small matter. But to me, I have always remembered her in my heart.  For the past few years, I have been waiting for her to come to me with my jade pendant but she never showed up.  Considering the environment she grew up in, she has managed to survive without receiving help from anybody.  Should I say that she is really intelligent? Or that she is the fittest survivor?”

She met his eyes and smiled: “I did not know Gentleman have such a past. No wonder you paid so much attention to a nobody like me! Gentleman, please rest assured that should I meet someone who needed help in the future, I will do my best to help him and pass on the spirit of your good deed.”

He looked at her thoughtfully and finally released his hold on the box.  Someone called her name and it was Fifth Gentleman.  He greeted her warmly before turning to Gong Sun Yun. “Che Yan Yan from Bai Ming Sect is at the main hall and she says she is here to pay her last respects. However, I think it is more likely that she is here to make trouble.”

Gong Sun Yun frowned and turned to Wang Yun. “Miss Wang, since the Left and Right Protectors of Bai Ming Sect seldom see eye to eye, I think you should remain here and stay away from the hall.”

“That is of course, that is of course.” and she very respectfully watched them leave. 

And sighed.

This was a no-brainer. Che Yan Yan would definitely spot He Zai, who at this very moment was beside Manor Master He Rong Hua. What should she do?  Dump He Zai while she escape?  Had she known it would turn out like this, she would not have permitted He Zai to come to Tian He Manor and simply hightail out of the pugilist world.

“I just knew He Zai would become my death spot one day.”  She felt like a bird in cage - no matter how she tried, she could not seem to escape from the control of Sect Leader.  If there is no He Zai, will her future be any easier?  If there is no He Zai…

She looked at the embroidered box in her hand and smiled.  It was best not to have too many ties.  She was only an ordinary girl and would not dream to catch any deity-from-nine-heavens, much less mention any jade pendants.

In any case, she did not recall ever owning a jade pendant.

With that, she threw away the embroidered box and strode towards the hall.

Moonblossom:  Oh Wang Yun, he does not find touching you unhygienic – he just wanted you to see that he kept your handkerchief! ha.ha.

Chapter links:

  • Chapter 1 – Part 2 of 2
  • Chapter 1 – Part 1 of 2
  • Prologue 2: The Second Person
  • Prologue 1: The First Person

    1. Thank you for the translation! I love it and look forward to the next chapter.

    2. “Hero is a definite match for Beauty, but Xian Yun can never be your hero. Because Xian Yun is in love wih Wang Yun"

      hahaha if only he knew her name. I love how Xian Yun takes notice of every little things Wang Yun does. He definitely has his suspicion that she was the one who saved him years ago

    3. Gong Sun Yun frowned and turned to Wang Yun. “Miss Wang, since the Left and Right Protectors of Bai Ming Sect seldom see eye to eye, I think you should remain here and stay away from the hall.”

      So is that mean Xian Yun already know that Wang yun is the Left Protector? haha..Since both of them is very smart we need to read this novel carefully.

      Love it very much! Thank you Moonblosoom!

    4. I agree. GYS knows WY is the left protector, guess....they know HZ became a sky slave for her. GYS might also know about one each bangle for the master and slave. OK, we know GYS is smitten to our dear bad she doesn't trust anyone (,except for HZ ?) And yet, why does she throw all the things given to her ( for no evidence ?) Why can't she remember him?, ay! I felt like a kid who wants more candy *sigh*

      Thank you so much dear moonBlossom :)

      - samie

      1. Hello! Haha, I really love how everyone is dissecting the chapters. In my view, Gong Sun Yun only has a very high suspicion that Wang Yun is the left protector and what he was saying does not indicate Wang Yun was the left protector, since she acknowledges she is under the left protector so whether she actually is the left protector or under the left protector, she would still likely be bullied by the right protector. The animosity between these two is famous.

        For the bangles, there's no tradition of master wearing one and slave wearing one. There's only the tradition of female slaves wearing both bangles on their wrists and male slaves wearing both bangles on their ankles. Our dear female lead broke tradition by wearing one on her wrist despite being the master.

      2. I also think he only has suspicions at this stage. In his own words, Cloud Manor has nothing on Huang Fu Yun - so he is looking out for her at this point whether she is The Left Protector or whether she is working for the Left Protector.

        ha.ha. I think readers are rather sensitive to the words used because of the poisoning inccident. If we have caught on to the fact that she "did not bother to hold back" and threw up on He Zai to "vent her anger", we could have caught on earlier that He Zai is the one who poisoned her before Gentleman Xian Yun pointed it out.

      3. hmm...i think at this point, GSY didnt know WY is the Left Protector- he just has his suspicions that WY may be the girl who saves him... (the bangle on her hand is one indicator). And WY took out her handkerchief (2nd indicator)...I think the moment when GSY handed the box and hold it tightly was when he knew...he tried to hint hint to her but she kinda denied it...

    5. For self preservation, WY resorts to self denial? This novel looks so much fun and exciting! I wonder how the story goes.... Good deity guy falls wt a high ranking evil sect gal .... Wow!

      1. Me to. For some reason, this pairing always reminded me of Zhang Dan Feng and Yin Su Su in "Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre" even though their characters are very different.

    6. I kinda meant, since HZ is wearing one bangle instead of two...GYS might have figured out WY as the young protector HZ is serving who he heard wearing one bangle when she helped him out out of the mountain *whew* :)

      I also guess, he saw the man lover Chen yan yan before....aside from the hanky which WY tried to mislead..... The bangle will always be a strong clue to our very smart (,he laid all the hints while she stubbornly remained clueless ) male lead.

      Excitingly swell!

      TYSM moonblossom & decembi *xoxo*


    7. back to prologue 2..XY mentioned about her figure doesnt tis means he wasn't blinded by the mist... n nw as tey finally met why do he need to confirm by showing her the handkerchief or jade pendant..cnt he simply catch her by seeing the bangle n He Zai( I've soft spot 4 him). Love the novel tanks ladies n yes! i've ditch some novel 4 tis :) continue to zeal us m.b looking forward 4 next update.

    8. I'm enjoying this translation very much as well. Thank you, both translator and blog host!

    9. love is trying hard to get a reaction from our wang yun to confirm that she is that girl whom he waited for..cant wait the next update

    10. Xian Yun is hinting left and right that he is suspicious of Wang Yun and she genuinely doesn't get it. It's so funny.

      I'm loving this book. In fact this is my favourite on going translations and it includes Lost You Forever. That got spoilt by a spoiler for me.Mr. Deity's and Wang Yun's back and forth is is really entertaining and I can't seem to get enough.


    11. thank you for the translation. this girl is not that smart or she really doesn't care of how the world is going on and about people.
      she doesn't want to bother anyone and anyone bother her but fate seems can't let her be alone. even if she tried to avoid contact until she lives on a desert island she will have to face people and be entangled with them.

      anyway i was wondering how she would be able to recognize xian yun if she is so plain at his hints. also why don't he tell her straight. why give her hint. is he scared of being rejected. be a man xian yun! tell her everything without detour

      1. and i forgo.. hai tang and che yanyan in the same room.. hmmm. women jealousy is really svary

    12. At this point in time, Gong Sun Yun is not sure Wang Yun is the girl who saved him so he could only hint. It has been six years since their brief encounter and some of the things she told him are a mixture of truth and lies, which made identifying her more difficult.

      Glad everyone is enjoying this so far.

    13. Good Monday morning! Isn't it obvious I'm addico already *grin*

      Its 2nd time a thing given to WY and she just threw it away! For this novel's ost, how about Careless Whisper by George Michael...." duh daah aahhhh....last Xmas, i gave u my heart & u just throw it away... "

      So Glad you've translated this light read book guys :)

      - samie

    14. She looked at the embroidered box in her hand and smiled.... She was only an ordinary girl and would not dream to catch any deity-from-nine-heavens, much less mention any jade pendants.
      In any case, she did not recall ever owning a jade pendant.

      wait, did she remember about him?

    15. Thank you for translating, Moonblossom! I'm addicted and looking for the next translation
      It's not that WangYun isnt smart.. I think for Wang Yun, the memory of meeting GSY isn't so special, as her concern is more about preserving her life in the sect. Also, the meeting is years ago, and she didn't try to know who is he back then (he toss away the jade pendant instantly) so, she might forgot (or tried to forget) that event to avoid any trouble.
      For GSY, the meeting has a deep impact, so he gives hints here and there while WangYun is clueless. That's just my opinion though :)


    16. thank you moonblossom for your hard work pls continue to translate, this reading is what makes my day i always check on this site everyday like a crazy and hungry woman looking for crumbs anyways this is my fave one waiting for the next interaction between our main leads......

      1. Thank u for the encouragement. I'm still doing ok n should be able to keep to my 1-2 postings a week. Sometimes it is hard n I have to check google n thesaurus for what certain phrases mean, but it is a good learning experience. : )

    17. This comment has been removed by the author.

    18. same here, kudos to moonblossom :) pls continue to translate else, i die guessing...he he.

      i wonder if there's gonna be a cat fight in the hall between chen yan yan and Wang Yun. what will XY do if he confirms WY's identity....the one he's been waiting for......what if, chen yan yan is also wearing a single bangle in her left wrist? its kinda like cinderellaesque....but instead of looking for shoe fit.....there's a lot to look....jade pendant, bangle sound and plain hanky from a clueless female lead *swoon*

      - samie

    19. good catch samie it never cross my mind about the probability of R.P with a bangle or it can be that c's using white handkerchief or posses the jade pendant hahaha...but I believe 'our Deity' already figure who is who..

    20. Hi Moonblossom,

      Thank you so much for your translation. Even though I skimmed ahead by using google translate to listen to the story, I have missed large portions of the story and a lot of minute details due to my poor understanding of Mandarin. Your English translation really makes me realize how funny Huang Fu Yun is. I love her! She is sarcastic and cynical without being offensive. There is some speculation here about how intelligent Huang Fu Yun really is. Some think she is quite oblivious because she is missing the hints of romantic interest Gong Sun Yun is throwing at her left and right. However, I think she is quite intelligent with bits of humor sprinkled in and not dense at all. She misses his hints because she has grown up with a very cautious and somewhat jaded view of the world. She is friendless and must fend for herself in order to survive. If she has had this mindset for 20 years, it is no wonder that she overlooks the common antics of courting and instead sees Gong Sun Yun's caring gestures and interest in her as "suspicious actions." Why else would a stranger cozy up to her for no apparent reason? There must be an ulterior motive, and knowing the crowd she hangs out with (Demon Sect), that ulterior motive must be bad stuff. Even He Zai, someone she considers a potential friend, betrays her. She trusts He Zai and the minute she lets her guard down, he poisons her! If someone she considers an ally betrays her in this way, why shouldn't she be cautious of Gong Sun Yun, who is technically a stranger to her?

      I am confused about the name Wang Yun. Is that Huang Fu Yun's alias while she is in the Central Plains to avoid being recognized as the Left Protector?

      Also, I am confused as to whether Gong Sun Yun actually saw Huang Fu Yun's face 6 years ago at the hot springs. And why was he so mesmerized by her, by a random female he happened to meet on a chance encounter, to the extent that he stayed single for 6 years waiting for her, despite his very eligible status in the pugilist world? Is Huang Fu Yun beautiful? I remember that she wasn't wearing heavy makeup to hide her true appearance during that meeting 6 years ago. Perhaps she is even more enchanting than Hai Tang Fairy and the promiscuous Che Yan Yan?