Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Gentleman Free-Floating Cloud (闲云公子) Chapter 9 Part 1 of 2

Because GFFC reminded me a little of “Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre”, I thought it was apt to take a picture from the famous drama as the Orthodox Sects surrounded Bai Ming Sect.  Actually, the Orthodox Sect was superfluous when the real confrontation was between Huang Fu Yun and her crazy Master.  Would blood be shed? Would anyone die?  What would happen to Huang Fu Yun? 

 - by Moonblossom -

Chapter 9 Part 1 of 2

Early next morning.

Deng Hai Tang watched with surprise as He Zai removed his face paint. 

Feeling her curiosity, he explained: “Since Miss has returned and Tian He Manor now knows about He Yue Hua being a Sky Slave, there is no need for me to hide anymore.  All things will come to an end today and the least I can do is to face up to things with the looks I am born with.”

Jiang Wo Bo smiled as she played with her flute.  “Why do you seem to be preparing for martyrdom when we are not dying yet?”

He Zai chuckled. “Miss has mixed up your idioms again”

Che Yan Yan arrived at the dungeon to personally escort the prisoners and got a shock.  “He Zai?”

Jiang Wo Bo tried to suppress her mirth as He Zai paid no heed to Che Yan Yan.  Now that she knew that a good-looking, gladiator-type of guy has been living right under her nose for the past ten years, did she feel any regret?  He Zai caught sight of her amusement and shot her a look to quell her mirth.

The three of them were given pills to suppress their strength before they were lead out. Their destination was the front hall where she saw ten over pugilists from the Central Plains had gathered.

He Zai was walking in front of her and blocked her from most people’s view.  Without turning back, he said in a low voice which only she could hear. “These in hall are renown wulin elders.  Those outside the hall are their disciples.  Seems like they are going to try the peaceful approach before fighting it out.”

She muttered a sound in response but continued thinking.  Besides the elders, she has spotted Tu Shan Long as well.  He was dressed in commoner’s garbs but there was an old man dressed in official robes standing beside him.  Once the imperial court got involved in jianghu matters, she knew that things would become sticky.  She was willing to bet that there were soldiers stationed outside the hall who would be ready to step in to suppress both sides if a big fight was to break up.

She guessed that many Bai Ming Sect disciples had been summoned back for the occasion as well, and all the chess pieces were now in place per Sect Leader’s wishes.

In the beginning, Bai Ming Sect also had several highly-skilled pugilists.  Because their moral yardsticks were different (or more accurately, they did not care two cents about how others think of them), Bai Ming Sect had been dubbed an unorthodox sect in the Central Plains.

It was only later when many skilled members had gone missing that she realized Sect Leader had gone crazy.  At that time, she could only endure and watch as Bai Ming Sect became increasingly convoluted.  Historically, the new Leader for Bai Ming Sect was always chosen among the Left or Right Protectors, but with its degeneration, many members had lost faith in the two female candidates for the leader’s chair, and were secretly coveting to be the next leader, which was also what Sect Leader had wanted to see.

As she listened half-heartedly to Sect Leader’s conversation with the other wulin elders, she caught sight of the Gentleman from Cloud Manor in the side hall directly facing her.  When she failed to spot Xian Yun among them, she took a step forward to sweep the hall, and finally found him at the main door.

He was wearing his customary white robe but he had no journals on him today.  He stood against the wind, hands folded behind, and he looked like his normal self, except for his icy demeanor which had replaced his usual polite aloofness.  She could imagine the tense situation outside, but with him on guard, no one had dared cross the door yet.

He seemed to have felt her gaze and turned around to meet her eyes directly.  There was no emotion in his dark eyes and for a moment, they just stared at each of other.  Without his customary sparkle in his eyes, she could not hold his look for long and finally turned away on the pretext of hiding a cough.  When she turned around to face him again, she noticed some fresh blood stains on the corner of his sleeve.

Che Yan Yan announced, “Master, I have brought the people here.”

An elder from Tang Manor spoke up: “Bai Ming Sect and the Central Plains have lived peacefully alongside each other for twenty over years.  What was Leader Jiang thinking when you capture the bride of the Martial Arts Scholar and the sworn sister of Gentleman Xian Yun?”

Ignoring him, Sect Leader said lazily: “He Zai, come cover.”

He Zai moved to stand beside him without a word.

“What do you think?  Is the Left Protector still alive?”

He Zai replied deadpan.  “She is still alive.” 

“Since she is alive, why do you think she has not shown herself?”

“Your subordinate does not know why.”

“Do I have to start killing people one by one before she shows up?  What do you think?”

At this exchange, Tu San Long furrowed his brow and stepped forward. “Sect Leader Jiang, Huang Fu Yun’s death has nothing to do with us.  If you are after revenge, you are barking up the wrong tree.  We can overlook your capturing my wife and Xian Yun’s sworn sister. If you can hand them over to us now, we can pretend that today has never happened.”

Jiang Wo Bo caught Deng Hai Tang’s helpless expression and thought to herself that it was not easy being the wife of the Martial Arts Scholar.  Here she was being carted left and right, but her husband had to put the big picture before her and could not even stand up properly for her.

Normally, it was not easy to gather so many fractions in one place.  Was crazy Sect Leader trying to destroy Bai Ming Sect, or was he waiting to see how she would clear up the mess?  If she were to guess correctly, did it mean she is crazy too? At this, she decided she should stop trying to think further.

Sect Leader was all smiles. “If you want them back, that would not be possible. Protector Che, since the family of the two women are here, why not you let them collect their bodies today?”

Che Yan Yan hesitated but nodded. “Yes.”

Deng Hai Tang was very decisive and vaulted towards Tu San Long at his words.  Her move surprised many but many pugilists quickly close in to help.  Jiang Wo Bo choose remain where she was, without knowing that this would be her downfall.

“Be careful Miss!”

In a flash, a black shadow has materialized beside her and it was only then that she realized her mistake.  He Zai only managed to move two steps before she heard a rough voice breathing into her ear.  “Yun Er, I have found you.”

Before she could react, she felt someone pulling her back with one hand, while his other hand started exchanging blows with Sect Leader. The blows looked straightforward but were infused with a lot of internal strength.  Given the close distance between the duelists, there was little reaction time and Gong Sun Yun could only react instinctively. When his palms clasp with Sect Leader for the last time, the energy seemed to radiate through the duelists and shattered something behind them, while sending the two men staggering back several paces.

Quickly, He Zai and Tu San Long moved behind Gong Sun Yun to steady him.  He Zai was quick to ask: “Is Miss alright?”

Feeling the disruptive qi coursing through Gong Sun Yun, the question clued Tu San Long on why Gong Sun Yun has taken on the blow instead of deflecting it.  Given the internal strength of these powerful men, Jiang Wo Bo would be severely injured if not dead by now, since she was caught between them, had Gong Sun Yun not taken the blow head on. 

Worried, He Zai asked again. “Miss?”

Xian Yun replied for her: “She is merely out of breath.  Otherwise, she is fine.”

“Good skills!” praised Bai Ming Sect Leader before he turned and walked slowly back to his seat, his eyes unusually bright.

While the two were fighting, other fights had broken out both within and outside the hall.  Someone tried to block Sect Leader on his way to his seat but he sent the fellow flying out of the hall with a wave of his hand.

Tu San Long and Gong Sun Yun exchanged a glance. What a mess! Inwardly, Tu San Long started to blame Jiang Wo Bo.  Earlier on, the situation was still under control, thanks to Xian Yun who had volunteered to guard the door in disregard of his Gentleman status.  Had it not been for her, Xian Yun would never have left his post and the fight would not have escalated to this extent.

Looking at the pleased-looking Court Official who had followed him here, he knew that it would not be long before the old coot would order his solders to intervene.

“Yun Er, can you guess how did I manage to spot you?”

Jiang Wo Bo finally opened her eyes and stared at the middle-aged man atop the Sect Leader’s seat.  Although he was not really that old, his hair was white.  She disengaged herself from Gong Sun Yun and started walking towards Sect Leader with her hands folded customary behind her.

As she walked, someone took a swing at her but He Zai, who was right behind her, blocked the attack.  He was about to return a death blow to her assailant when someone held him back.  Turning around, he saw Gong Sun Yun who said calmly:  “Try to forgive if you can.  If you can endure, just endure.”  His colour has returned to normal and it was hard to tell that this man had just used his entire strength to exchange blows with Sect Leader.

When He Zai gave a cold snort, Sect Leader Jiang spoke: “When everyone else has succumbed to chaos, Yun Er will be the only person who would remain calm.  I know you would never join the chaos until you have determine your strategy and decided on your next course of action.”

She smiled.  “Master indeed knows Yun Er well.”  She walked to the steps where He Zai had been forced to wear his slave bangle long ago.  As she stroked her flute, she asked thoughtfully.  “Master has been trying his best to test Yun Er all these years. Can I ask if today is the day you receive your answer?”

“What have you learnt when you fell off the cliff?”

She crocked her head. “Besides being lucky to escape with my life, I found that I have somehow ended up with some new-found family members who would require me to greet them in the morning and wish them goodnight everyday.”

At her reply, Gong Sun Yun broke into a grin.

The answer was obviously not what Sect Leader has expected to hear, so she continued. “Master’s explosion has opened my eyes, and I was suppose to learn that I can only rely on myself as even He Zai can forsake me for his blood brother.”

While He Zai gritted his teeth, Sect Leader nodded his head, satisfied.

Jiang Wo Bo continued her slow ascend up the steps.  When she reached Sect Leader, she leaned forward and spoke in low tones: “Seeing that Master has tried to force me out of hiding in such haste, can I assume you have reached the end of your rope?”

The eyes of the white-haired man were burning too brightly, like the last blaze of a candle that was about to be extinguished.  “Yun Er is so smart, you are worth the love I have showered upon you all these years.”

“Ay, I am not smart at all. Master has aged overnight ever since you have fatally injured yourself all those years back.  I have hoped to lie low until Master has passed on, yet you have hang on for much longer than expected, and here I am.”

She straightened. “The blow from Xian Yun was the last straw wasn’t it?”

Instead of feeling aggrieved, Sect Leader bursted out laughing.  “Precisely.”  His laughter was loud and carried his qi across the hall, stopping many pugilists in their tracks as they felt their intestines contract.

Jiang Wo Bo was the closest to him and she too felt the pain.  Fortunately, there were two pairs of hands who appeared behind her and lent her strength.  

Endure!  No matter what comes today, she will endure it all!

Gong Sun Yun let out a long, flat whistle which curbed some of the effects of the jarring laughter.

Sect Leader coughed and looked at the expressionless Gong Sun Yun.  “Your internal qi is good.”

“Sect Leader Jiang is too generous with your praise.”

A corner of Sect Leader’s mouth twitched.  “If you are born twenty years earlier, I would have dueled with you.”

In the next breath, he continued. “Bai Ming Sect Left Protector Huang Fu Yun, accept my order.  From today onwards, you will become the thirty-first Sect Leader of Bai Ming Sect!”

His power carried his words clearly into everyone’s ears.

She stared at him for a long time, then turning around, she walked down the steps.  She walked past Che Yan Yan who didn’t look too well, past a shell-shocked Tu San Lang, but she ignored them all.

“Yun Er, there is no one you can trust in this world.  I have trained you personally and I know how you think, especially He Zai, who must now be the chief thorn in your heart.  If you leave today, Bai Ming Sect would be exterminated by the Orthodox Sect or become prisoners of the court, without a leader at its helm.  That would make you the biggest sinner in Bai Ming Sect history and there will forever be Bai Ming Sect disciples hunting you for revenge.  No matter where you go, you will never find refuge even in the Central Plains!”

All Bai Ming Sect disciples have turned their attention to her.  As she stepped out of the hall, she stopped and swept her glance at all who has gathered below the steps.

The main hall of Bai Ming Sect was situated at mid mountain.  From the entrance, she could see Tian Bi Cliff in the distance that reached high into the sky.  A wide gorge separated the path up the cliff and to people unfamiliar with the area, it would be impossible to ascend the cliff.

This was the first time in her life that she was in the limelight.  Perched on the steps, with everyone looking on, could this be considered her moment of fame?  What a pity that after today, she could no longer wander around the Central Plains without make-up.

Turning, she faced Sect Leader in the hall.  She knew he was about to die and that he wanted to pass her this mess before his last breath.  Had she not known that he was crazy, she would have thought that his ambition in life was to nurture people.  If she had fallen prey to hatred or disappointment when she fell off the cliff, she would have become the type of person whom Sect Leader truly wanted her to be.

She smiled and lifted both hands towards the Master’s seat.  “Huang Fu Yun accepts your order.”

“Miss!” He Zai could not help his protest as she made her announcement in front of everyone,

She did not pay him any heed and folded her hands behind her.  “From today onwards, Huang Fu Yun will become the thirty-first Sect Leader of Bai Ming Sect.  All disciples listen up.  Kneel and send off our Old Leader as he embarks on his last journey!”

Within and outside the hall, many disciples hesitated before putting down their weapons and knelt.

Chapter Links:

  • Chapter 8 - Part 2 of 2
  • Chapter 8 - Part 1 of 2
  • Chapter 7 - Part 2 of 2
  • Chapter 7 - Part 1 of 2
  • Chapter 6 - Part 2 of 2
  • Chapter 6 - Part 1 of 2
  • Chapter 5 - Part 2 of 2
  • Chapter 5 - Part 1 of 2
  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 3 - Part 2 of 2
  • Chapter 3 - Part 1 of 2
  • Chapter 2 - Part 2 of 2
  • Chapter 2 - Part 1 of 2
  • Chapter 1 – Part 2 of 2
  • Chapter 1 – Part 1 of 2
  • Prologue 2: The Second Person
  • Prologue 1: The First Person

    1. super exciting! so finally ascends the Sect Leader of Bai Ming Sect or is she? The next chapter is the ending of the book. I cannot wait for the next part of chapter 9 unfolds.

      Thank you for sharing this amazing novel with us Moonblossom.

    2. Glad you like it! There is no wuxia fanfare, no epic battle, but this book has its own charm. Even this stand-off was over just as it began, but it is necessary for what comes next. I was grinning as I type the next post and I think you will like it. Here's to the next part.

    3. moonblossom kiitos( thanks)

      1. Olet sydämellisesti tervetullut.

      2. haha moonblossom write Fin lol. Just buy ticket hel -sg now feel happy can't sleep but seem can't stay in sg ,so maybe no chance check the novel :) again thanks for the translation . looking forward the next chapter:)

    4. i read this part slowly and carefully coz everything in this part is intense and interesting! she's a perfect new leader, but we didn't want her to live in the sect. She deserves happiness, living carefree and protected in a family.
      i'm always amaze how wang yun endure everything and really unpredictable!
      i'm really happy coz both man can protect her now.
      thank you so much moonblossom :D

      1. For a moment, I thought she is really going to walk out of the door! But what her Master said make sense, and she has no choice but to accept the leader's position else she will forever be hunted down. The two hands that reached out to support her is very heartwarming, but I am more thankful that Xian Yun appeared the night before and gave her a tonic pill, else she will be dead for sure with all the energy flying around.

    5. thank you moonblossom, you're awesome...

    6. “Huang Fu Yun accepts your order.”
      “From today onwards, Huang Fu Yun will become the thirty-first Sect Leader of Bai Ming Sect."

      I totally gasped because I didn't expect her to accept the order! I know I love this girl for a reason. I'm so happy that she stood up to her master and to the occasion. I'm so excited to know what's coming next. He Zai showed his dismay at her acceptance but what about Xian Yun? Is it in the next chapter?

      Btw, I'm wondering why the Old Master thought Huang Fu Yun was a worthy successor despite being so weak. She only seemed to have the ability to endure and strategise (which are really great, of course) but I thought being the Sect Leader requires power and martial arts prowess too.

      1. I suspect he has killed a lot of skilled members in Bai Ming sect, until there are not many capable people left. From the sound of things, he has fostered many to have hopes of being the next leader so he is not leaving her an asset but more of a problem. Let's hope He Zai is a capable enough assistant.

      2. Right! That's a good point! I wonder what will everyone think now that they know Gentleman Xian Yun's sworn sister is Huang Fu Yun, the new leader of Bai Ming Sect! I'm really glad that this novel is not angsty & is such a pleasant read & not long! =)

    7. Would He Zai become acting.leader while WY as absemtee leader....frolicking wt XY ?*teehee*

      Guess, better she accepted the leadership...she can turn it later over to HZ and assure the peace.between evil sect and central plains or all the pugilist world.......while WY & XY lives happily in health & endurance *squeals*

      - samie